A disturbing 2-minute mobile clip from Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit district shows an adult tigress being beaten barbarically with sticks by villagers, triggering extensive outrage.
The event took place under a protected wildlife zone of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, almost 250 km from state capital Lucknow. The short video, taken by a resident of the Mataina village, captures the attack by the villagers and even has a background explanation by a witness who says they are attacking the tigress because she had badly injured a villager in the morning.
The tigress was about 6 years old and she died of multiple injuries consisting of broken ribs and various wounds all over her body. The tigress was cremated after conducting a thorough post-mortem. Local forest naturalists have recorded a FIR against 31 villagers who were identified as responsible for this barbaric act.
Eye-witness reports suggest that forest department officials reached the spot right after the assault but fuming villagers even attacked them and did not allow the tigress be taken to hospital, till she was evidently dead.
A magisterial review will probe whether genuine efforts were really made at the spot by forest officials to rescue and save the life of incapacitated tigress.
Another official account has also challenged the reported narrative, saying the tigress had not drifted from her natural habitat. The villagers were in fact warned several times not to engage with the tigress but on Wednesday, a man ignored the advisory and went close to the tigress and was attacked.
Former field director GC Misra (Dudhwa Tiger Reserve) said, “The tigress could have been saved and given appropriate medical aid in time as the forest officials had reached the spot. But their failure to rescue the injured big cat in a span of over 9 hours undeniably reflects their inability in protecting wildlife in hostile situations.”
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Sources: Youtube, NDTV, Paandu Vlog
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