As tigers’ habitat grows smaller and human settlements encroach further, clashes between the two are an inevitable environmental issue.
Image by Sujit Kumar
It appears those clashes are increasing in frequency in parts of the tiger’s traditional homeland. In the past two months six people have been killed and 12 more mauled in villages around Bangladesh’s Sundarbans mangrove forest.
The Bangladeshi villages were most recently hit by a tiger attack on Monday at the Satkhali village, a small town in the swampy forest zone 300 miles or so south of Dhaka. In this incident a fisherman was killed while fishing in the river.
All the victims have been attacked while fishing at the river or farming in the forest. The Sundarbans is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the last great refuges of the Royal Bengal Tiger, an endangered species.
Clashes between villagers and tigers have increased dramatically in recent months. Recently, villagers in Goripur trapped a tiger alive and handed it over to rangers. In December, a tiger that had entered a village was killed, injuring four people in the process.
While some blame habitat destruction and human encroachment, there are other factors as well. On November 15 Cyclone Sidr struck the coastline of Bangladesh. It caused millions in damages, and devastated 60% of the mangrove forest in Bangladesh. This was home to more than 400 tigers.
With the forest depleted of food by the cyclone and the tigers’ habitat destroyed, it’s no wonder that villages are seeing more tigers in their midst. Wildlife officials predict there will be more confrontations between tigers and villagers as the animals search for food.
Info from Times of India