A tribal youngster was attacked and killed by a tiger, when he went to the forest areas to graze cattle on the outskirts of Digida village in Dahegaon mandal on Wednesday. The badly mauled body of Sidam Vignesh (21) was found later by fellow villagers.
According to reports reaching the district headquarters, three tribal youth, Vignesh and his two friends Bolishetti Naveen and Sidam Srikanth went to the forest areas to graze cattle. “The tiger appeared suddenly, lunged at Vignesh and dragged him away” the terrified duo recalled. Vignesh seemed to have been killed in the first strike itself.
The duo who almost froze with fear on seeing the tiger, but managed managed to scamper towards the village. They alerted the villagers, who gathered in large numbers. Later the villagers and the duo dared to venture into the forest area where Vignesh was attacked. After some search, the villagers found the body of Vignesh.
The big cat seemed to have eaten some flesh and abandoned the body.
Local people say the tiger was in the forest recently. Tigers from the Tadoba-Andheri Tiger Reserve were known to shift to the adjoining forest ares of Asifabad and Kagaznagar in the recent times. The movement of the tiger sent a panic wave among the rural people, especially those living in the villagers on fringes of the forest.
Rebbena Forest Range Officer Purnima confirmed that a tiger killed the youngster. She, however, said that it was yet to be ascertained whether the trio provoked the tiger leading to the attack.
“The big cats inhabiting in this wild are not undergoing stress and never harmed humans. An inquiry will be ordered into the incident. It’s a first kill by the tiger in the district”, she said.
Forest officials suspect that the rural folks tend to take photos and videos of the tigers to share it on social media platforms. Such acts could irritate the big cats, which in turn attack the humans. The district reported the man – animal conflict many years back.