9-Year-Old Girl Dragged Into Forest, Mauled by Tiger

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

A young girl in India was tragically attacked and killed by a tiger. The girl was identified by local media as Poonam Gond. She was with her grandmother and sisters in a rice paddy in the Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh. That’s when the big cat attacked.

“My granddaughter and I were cutting paddy in the field. It was around 2.30 p.m.,” the girl’s grandmother, Terasiya Gond, told the Hindustan Times.

Gond said: “I heard the scream of Poonam. I thought she cut her hand with a sickle, but when I turned around to see her, I saw a tiger dragging her to the field. I cried for help and the villagers, who were cutting paddy in their fields, came and tried to save the girl, but the tiger grabbed her and fled into the dense forest.”

Tigers, which are the largest species of cat in the world, can be found across areas of south and southeast Asia. They are mostly located within China and India. The largest species, the Amur tiger, can grow to lengths of up to 10 feet and weights of 660 pounds.

They are classified as endangered species by the IUCN Red List.

“There are 3-4 tigers from the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve who roam around in the Jaisinghnagar forest range. A team of forest officials is trying to locate the tiger to keep a check on the tiger’s movement,” Shahdol divisional forest officer Gaurav Chaudhary told the Hindustan Times.

Divisional Forest Officer Speaks About Tragic Tiger Incident

According to Chaudhary, the feline predator had previously been seen. It was roaming in the area but hadn’t attacked a human until now.

Tigers have killed more humans than any other species of big cat. One study estimated that around 373,000 people had died from such attacks between 1800 and 2009. These attacks occurred mostly in India, Nepal and southeast Asia. Attacks occur when the animal feels threatened or provoked to chase. Tiger attacks have increased as human settlements have expanded into tiger habitats.

In some cases, specific tigers seem to have developed a taste for humans and actively hunt them. They have been called “man-eaters” due to their repeated attacks.

One such example is the Champawat tiger, which killed 200 people in Nepal before being driven out. This cat then killed a further 236 people in north India before finally being hunted down in 1907.

Poonam Gond’s body was recovered from the forest by officials. An autopsy revealed that she died from injuries to her neck and waist. Her family will receive the equivalent of $5,000 from the forest department as financial compensation for this tragic incident.

Madhya Pradesh is the state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal, and the largest city is Indore. Its economy is the tenth largest in India.