A tiger, which has strayed into human settlements in Moradabad and Sambhal districts, Wednesday afternoon killed a 40-year-old woman — its fourth victim in 11 days.
Dulari Devi was in her field at Dariyapur village in Moradabad when the tiger attacked her.
The forest department, which claimed to making all effort to catch the animal, has initiated the process to declare it a maneater. “We will have to declare the tiger a man-eater. Four lives have been lost so far,” said Divisional Forest Officer, Moradabad, B C Brahma.
He added the pugmarks and stride indicate that the tiger is an adult.
Senior officials, including Moradabad Commissioner Shiv Shankar, reached the area today to pacify scared villagers who are staging a demonstration. Chief Wildlife Warden Rupak De said he has sought a report on action taken so far and the plan ahead from the chief conservator of Moradabad. Chief Conservator Kamlesh Kumar said he has sent a report to the headquarters in Lucknow with a recommendation to declare the tiger a man-eater.
The administration of nearby districts have also sounded alerts. People residing in 900 square kilometre area of Bijnor and Moradabad districts have been advised not to venture out alone.
Commissioner, Moradabad, Shiv Shankar said police and administration teams have been asked to help forest officials in their operations. Two elephants have also been brought from Lakhimpur Kheri to track the tiger.
Moradabad DFO said they suspect that animal has moved to Moradabad from Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, which is around 100 kilometre from the district.
He added tiger which is regularly moving ahead has so far covered around 65 kilometres in last 11 days. The first death took place on December 29 when animal killed a youth Vijay Singh at village Mithanpur in Sambhal. The second and third deaths took place on January 5 and 7. These victims were attacked in fields. DFO added the recent pugmarks hints that animal has started moving back to Uttarakahand and is a few kilometre away from Jim Corbett National Park.
Officials said the tiger is moving in sugarcane fields following due to which it is difficult to track him. They claimed to have sighted the animal once. Buffalo carts have been put up in the area as a bait and cameras are installed to catch the tiger’s movement.