Five killed in big cat attacks since three months
Mysuru / H.D. Kote; A total of five persons have been killed by big wild cats (leopards and tigers) since Oct. 31, 2022, with the latest being a tiger killing an 18-year-old boy near Balle Elephant Camp in H.D. Kote yesterday.
While the four leopard attacks had taken place in T. Narasipur, the tiger attack has taken place in H.D. Kote.
Those who were killed in leopard attacks since the last three months are: Manjunath (20), Meghana (22), Siddamma (60) and Jayanth (11), all in T. Narasipur taluk.
Following frequent attacks, Mysuru Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr. K.V. Rajendra has issued an order to shoot the killer leopards on sight.
Though it is the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), who has to issue the order, the DC took the decision after discussing the same with the PCCF, it is learnt.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who was in Suttur yesterday, told media persons that he had collected information pertaining to the leopard attacks at T. Narasipur from the Forest officials.
The CM said that he has also instructed the Forest Department to form special squads to trap the leopards. “We have taken the attacks in T. Narasipur taluk seriously. I have instructed the Mysuru Circle Conservator of Forests (CF) to form special squads involving the best officers to trap the elusive leopards.”
The PCCF is learnt to have instructed CF Dr. Malathi Priya to identify the killer leopards first to ascertain if they had attacked and killed the people.
As many as 12 camera traps have been installed in and around the spot, where Siddamma was killed by a leopard at Kannanayakanahalli in T. Narasipur taluk on Friday last and four camera traps near the spot where the half-eaten body of Jayanth was found yesterday morning at Horalahalli in T. Narasipur.
Over 120 Forest staff and Elephant Task Force personnel are conducting combing operation to trace and trap the leopards.
CF Dr. Malathi Priya said that the leopard, which had attacked and killed student Manjunath (first case) in T. Narasipur has been captured and shifted to Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru while the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cases have taken place within 1.5 km range of each other. It is yet to be known whether a single leopard had attacked and killed the three victims, she added.
Tiger attack: Manju (18), son of Kala and Pushpa couple of Balle tribal hamlet in H.D. Kote, was killed in a tiger attack yesterday. The tiger is said to have attacked the teen right behind the Range Forest Officer (RFO) quarters at D.B. Kuppe.
Balle Elephant Camp, located near Balle tribal hamlet, houses Dasara elephants including former Golden Howdah elephant Arjuna, Durgaparameshwari and Kumaraswamy and the tribal children visit the elephant camp to play with the jumbos.
Yesterday morning too, a few children including Manju from visited the elephant camp. At about 1.30 pm, when he was sitting behind the RFO quarters, the tiger reportedly attacked and dragged him. Though the staff of the elephant camp managed to scare the tiger away, Manju is said to have died by then.
RFO Madhu and staff, who were at the Office, rushed to the spot and took steps to prevent the tiger from devouring the body.
Following instructions from the higher officials, the RFO and staff shifted the body to a hospital.
Tribals stage protest
Meanwhile, tribals residing in various hamlets arrived near the elephant camp, blocked the H.D. Kote-Manandawadi Main Road with stones and staged a protest urging higher Forest officials to come to the spot and provide justice. Vehicular traffic on main road was disrupted. Following the tiger attack, the safari at B-Zone in Kabini backwaters was closed for half-a-day.
Metikuppe Sub-Division Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) K.N. Rangaswamy, who arrived at H.D. Kote Government Hospital, where the body of Manju was shifted for post-mortem, handed over the primary stage compensation cheque of Rs. 2.5 lakh to deceased Manju’s parents near the hospital and assured them of providing the remaining compensation amount after receiving the post-mortem report.
A case has been registered at Antharasanthe Police Station.
Backwater female the killer
It has been confirmed that the backwater female tigress, which has made Kabini Backwaters its home along with her four cubs, had attacked Manju to protect her cubs.