KOLKATA: A fisherman on Tuesday was mauled to death by a Royal Bengal Tiger in Sunderbans, the mangrove region which is said to be saturated with big cats. The deceased was attacked on the first day he ventured into the core area of the delta region.
Though his accomplices managed to rescue him with the help of sticks, he was declared dead. “Basudeb Baidya (35) left his Kultali residence on Saturday along with two others. They anchored their mechanised boat on the banks of a creek and Baidya was preparing fishing net. There were mangrove bushes on the banks, near the boat. The animal pounced on Baidya and dragged him towards the banks,’’ said an officer of forest department.
Baidya’s two other associates, who were on the other side of the boat, heard screams and armed with bamboo sticks, started beating the tiger. The animal disappeared in the mangrove bushes. The two fishermen rescued Baidya and arrived the healthcare centre where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to forest department sources human-wild conflict increased in the delta region. The wildlife Institute of India (WII) told the state forest department that in the hostile terrain, the carrying capacity is three to five tigers per 100sq km and in multiple blocks the density is more, resulting in wild-human conflict.
In the 2014 national census, 76 tigers were traced. The results of the national tiger census of 2018 had pegged the number of big cats in the Sunderbans at 88. The 2020-2021 census conducted by the state forest department had found 96 tigers in the mangrove delta. The 2022 national census started in the first week of December.
At least eight tigers have strayed near the villages in Sunderbans since December last year and all were captured and released into the wild. The WII has advised the state forest department to release tigers captured after they stray near less dense villages.
Bengal Tiger in Sunderbans
There are 3 to 5 tigers per 100sq km and the density can be more in multiple blocks
- In the 2014 national census, 76 tigers were traced in the zone
- The national tiger census of 2018 had pegged the number at 88
- 2020-2021 census conducted by the state forest department had found 96 tigers in the mangrove delta