In 10 years, tigers killed 7 humans in Wayanad district

Representational image
Representational image. File photo: IANS

Wayanad: In the last 23 years (2000-2023), 45 persons were killed by wild animals in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS), say data provided by the office of Wayanad Wildlife Warden at Sulthan Bathery.

Since 2010, at least 26 persons have been killed in WWS, including four by tigers. The latest victim of a tiger attack was a young farmer, Prajeesh.

Besides, four others died of snake bites and 18 were killed in elephant attacks in WWS in the last 13 years. During the same period, 106 persons were injured in animal attacks in the sanctuary limits.

51 human deaths in Wayanad in last 10 years
The total deaths due to wild animal attacks in the three wildlife zones in the district – WWS, South Wayanad Forest Division and North Wayanad Forest Division, in the last 10 years, is 51. Of the total, 41 were killed by elephants while seven died of tiger attacks. Two were killed by bison and one died in wild boar attack.

Prajeesh is the second victim of a tiger attack this year. On January 12 this year, Thomas (Salu), 51, a native of Puthussery near Mananthavady, was killed in a tiger attack when he was working on a farm.

Is the tiger a man-eater?
What worries the agrarian community is in Wayanad is whether the tiger that killed Prajeesh is a man-eater or will it turn into one having tasted human flesh.

According to residents, incidents of tigers attacking and eating human flesh, have not been reported from their locality in recent past.

However, cattle lifting is not uncommon in this part of the district. In this financial year,19 incidents of cattle lifting were reported in WWS limits. The number of such cases last year was 62.

Noted wildlife expert Dr PS Easa told Onmanorama that a tiger cannot be declared a man-eater based on a lone incident. “There were similar incidents in the past when problem tigers entered human habitats causing human death, but hunting human beings in an action by mistake,” said Dr Easa. “There are a lot of formalities to be followed before eliminating a problem tiger for which the National Tiger Conservation Authority has laid detailed guidelines.”

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