FOUR tiger attacks on humans in 18 days, three of them fatal, have raised suspicion about at least one “problem animal” lurking around in the area straddling Bramhapuri and Chandrapur divisions of the forest department in Chandrapur district. In the latest incident in the series of attacks beginning January 8, a 60-year old woman Manda Dandekar was killed by a tiger near Mohali village in the Shivni range just adjacent to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve Wednesday morning. Deputy Conservator of Forest (TATR Buffer) Gajanan Naravane said, “the woman had gone to her farm to attend nature’s call when she was fatally attacked by a tiger. Her body was found dragged by a distance by villagers, who had set out to look for her when she didn’t return for a long time.”
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He added: “The people saw the tiger moving away from the place. On Tuesday, a woman was grievously injured near Wakat village in the adjoining Bhramhapuri division just about 1.5 km away from Wednesday’s spot, giving rise to doubts if both women were attacked by the same tiger.”
The series of attacks had begun January 8 when a tiger had killed 60-year old Mirabai Chaudhary near Chakbamni village also in Shivni range. On January 13, Babita Meshram, 32, was killed near Shivni village. “We have confirmed from camera trap pictures that the Chakbamni and Shivni attacks were by two different tigers. We are now trying to get camera trap pictures of Mohali and Wakat tigers. It will enable us to determine if any particular tiger is turning out to be a problem tiger here,” Naravane said.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Shri Bhagwan said, “I have given directions to track the problem animal, if any.”