Villagers crush tigress to death with tractor in India wildlife reserve

Villagers crush tigress to death with tractor in India wildlife reserve

Villagers in northern India have crushed a tigress to death with a tractor after it killed a man, despite the animal living in a wildlife reserve, officials have said.

Forest officer Mahavir Kaujlagi said villagers circled around the female after it killed the farmer late on Sunday.

When the tigress tried to escape, the villagers crushed her under the wheels of a tractor.

The village is inside the core zone of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Lakhimpur Khiri area, some 155 miles south-east of Lucknow, the state capital of Uttar Pradesh.

Killing a tiger in protected areas is illegal, and the reserve's director, Ramesh Pandey, said a case under the Wildlife Protection Act would be registered with police.

Villagers said the tigress injured another person in an attack about 10 days ago.

The tigress is India's national animal and it is categorised as endangered under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Tiger attacks in the country are common, with government data from last year showing an average of more than one person killed per day in conflict with a wild tiger or elephant over the previous three years.

On Friday, hunters shot and killed another man-eating tigress in western Maharashtra state, wildlife forest official Nagesh Gorle said.

Officials blamed the female tiger for killing 13 people over the last two years.

Officials said the tigress had evaded capture at least four times and had terrified inhabitants living near vast swaths of forest where it mauled herders and farmers, along with cows, goats and horses.

The human conflict with tigers has gradually increased since the 1970s, when India started a tiger conservation programme that carved out sanctuaries in national parks and made it a crime to kill them.

Though methods for counting tigers have changed, a census suggests the population of about 1,800 tigers then grew to 2,226 in 2014.

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