Kathmandu : Tiger attacks have been increasing with the growth of tiger population across the country in the recent time. Especially, people living around the protected areas like Banke and Bardiya are falling victims to tiger attacks.
As the tiger population is increasing in the national parks of Banke and Bardiya, they have started entering the human settlements via buffer zone in search of food due to scarce prey. Government officials have been facing a huge challenge to minimize the conflict between human and wild animals. The conflict has been increasing with the destruction of tiger habitats.
An employee at the Bardiya National Park lost his life after being attacked by a tiger in November. Similarly, a woman died after a tiger attacked her in Banke on October 2. The deceased has been identified as Ganga Salami, 40. The incident occurred while she had gone to the Bansgadhi Municipality-based Bhagwati Community Forest in Bardiya to collect the fodder.
Likewise, Ramkali Shahi, 56, of Geruwa Rural Municipality-4 died on the spot after being attacked by a tiger in the same municipality on August 22. The incident took place while he had gone to a field nearby his house to collect the fodder.
It has been learnt that Pahariya Tharu, 70, of Bhurigaun, Thakurbaba Municipality-1, Bardiya also lost his life in a tiger attack on Sunday morning, August 25. Similarly, a person died and another person sustained minor injuries after a tiger attacked them on February 4. The deceased has been identified as Chandra Bahadur Shahi and injured as Bijaya Budha of Badhaiyatal Rural Municipality-2. Likewise, three people were injured in a tiger attack at Dhaulagiri, Khajura Rural Municipality-3, Banke on May 17.
Though the tiger attacks have been increasing day by day, the concerned authority has not been doing anything to control the attacks instead it has been providing Rs 10 lakh for the kin of those killed in tiger attacks.
What are the ways to control tiger attacks?
Director General at the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation Gopal Prasad Bhattarai said that the conflict between human and tigers can be controlled if the concerned authority pays attention to habit conservation and prey population and also to the connectivity corridor.
As the tigers become older, they do not stay in one place and the big tigers, who have occupied the area, chase them away to others places, Bhattarai said. As a result, they enter the human settlements and attack the people for their safety, he added.
Bhattarai said that the tiger attack victims have been increasing day by day as the people have started residing near the forest by encroaching the land. Moreover, he said that the concerned authority should give attention towards the habitats and prey of tigers.
Tiger-like animals have also killed people in many places and the authority said that they were killed in tiger attacks without carrying out investigation. This could be another reason behind increase in the number of tiger attack victims, he said.
“Tigers do not stay in one place and the area will increase with the growth in population. The tiger attacks can be minimized if the people pay attention while entering or walking around the forest,” Bhattarai said, adding, “People enter the forest without taking any precaution and cut down trees. Tigers attack the people fearing that they would be killed by humans.”
Tiger expert and Chief at central zoo in Jawalakhel Chiranjivi Pokharel said that the tiger attacks can be minimized if the concerned authority raise awareness among the people about the habitat of big cats.