BELAGAVI: Tension gripped Abnoli village in Khanapur taluk on Wednesday evening when two people claimed they sighted a tiger.
Dhanaji Patil and Mashnu Patil claimed the tiger roared at them, and they dropped their bike and fled in fear. However, villagers have another version: the tiger tried to attack the duo and chased them, and as they were trying to get away, they fell off the bike.
Dhanaji told Express that he was visiting his sister in Abnoli village in the Khanapur jungle range when the incident happened. He and Mashnu had parked the two-wheeler a few metres from the road in the jungle and walked to his sister’s residence. When they returned and were starting the bike, they noticed the animal in front of them.
“The noise of the bike and its headlight seemed to have irked the tiger, which roared at us. Before it attacked us, we dropped the bike and fled,” Dhanaji said. He said the tiger had not tried to attack them.
Dhanaji and Mashnu are residents of Mendil, about 30 km from Khanapur town. They said sighting a tiger or a leopard was nothing new. It is common for the villagers of Mendil to sight wild animals almost daily, they said. Khanapur MLA Arvind Patil visited Mendil village and met Dhanaji and Mashnu. The villagers told the MLA they were familiar with such incidents and knew how to handle them.
Krishna Futtu Gaonkar of Mendil said, “Leopards hunt the dogs of our village. It is becoming a menace. Tigers generally avoid coming close to humans, and we too know how to react if we see them. This is what Dhanaji and Mashnu did. When they realised that the animal was irritated by the noise and light, they dropped the bike and ran.”