Tiger Shot, Killed After Killing Nine People in Rampage in India

by Craig Garrett
Portrait of angry tiger, Jakarta, Indonesia - stock photo

Up to nine people have been killed by a man-eating tiger in India before it was finally shot dead. It has been attacking victims since May. The tiger has been prowling the Champaran region in Bihar state and mauling its victims. According to Newsweek, the tiger has killed at least nine people. This number is not yet confirmed by authorities. The Hindustan Times reported that within one month the animal had killed six people.

The predator was terrorizing communities near the Valmiki Tiger Reserve and was nicknamed a ‘man-eater.’ Because of the animal’s threat to human life, 200 officials and two elephants were enlisted in the search party. The local forest department initiated searches for the predator, with an order to shoot on sight.

India has 80 percent of the world’s tigers. They are extremely robust creatures, although they seldom cause harm to people. However, human-wildlife conflicts have increased in India in recent years. This is due to a variety of causes, including human settlements growing and forcing wild animals into populated areas.

The day after the tiger killed a mother and child, Nesamani K–the director of Valmiki Tiger Reserve–organized the final hunt for the man-eating animal. The animal was resistant to being tranquilized and fearlessly approached the humans, even when surrounded. The male tiger, estimated to be around three years old, was shot and killed on October 8th at 3pm. An autopsy has been ordered.

Rural India’s tiger situation

Kota Ullas Karanth, a conservation zoologist based in India who specializes in tigers, told Newsweek that they avoid humans because they’re scared of them. But there are always exceptions to the rule. In his opinion, predators that eat humans should be terminated immediately.

Rural Indians are unrivaled in their ability to live alongside dangerous wildlife.“You don’t find this in other cultures,” Karanth explained. “If this kind of thing happened in Montana or Brazil, they’d wipe out everything the next day.” The live-and-let-live attitude has also been critical to India’s tiger conservation success. The nation now contains just 25% of global tiger territory, yet accounts for 70% of the population, or around 3,000 individuals today.

However, success has its own price. Because India’s protected areas have not grown at the same rate as its tiger population, certain big cats have been forced to venture into human-dominated areas for food. Animals are killed and humans are sometimes harmed in this process.

Although fatalities from tiger attacks only amount to about 40 to 50 people per year, as opposed to the 350 people killed by elephants annually, they invoke a much more primal fear. This unresolved terror can spur communities into destructive outbursts, such as riots or targeted killings of tigers. In areas where this centuries-old tolerance is starting to wear thin, such extremes are becoming more common.