Tiger kills Forest Official
A disturbing piece of news from Ranthambhore, not very glad to report it as I have recently taken pride in saying “doesn’t happen in my Ranthambhore”. Today morning around 11.30 AM a tiger attacked forester Gheesu Singh in the Kundaal area of the park & killed him. As per eyewitnesses three forest guards & some 20-odd labourers were carrying out repair works in that area. The teams split in two and were 150-200 feet apart from each other & when Gheesu was going from one point to another, a tiger who was probably hiding in dense bushes attacked him from behind & dragged the body 50 feet inside the dense forest. People on the spot ran away in panic & informed the DFO, who reached the spot immediately. The tiger was still sitting near the body & moved away from the spot only after firecrackers were busted along with the honking of horns. The victim was rushed to hospital where he was declared dead.
The culprit has been identified as T24, a 6-7-year-old male tiger who frequents this area. The same individual has been involved in the killing of two humans previously & this is the third such incident in the last two years. As per people present on the spot just before the attack, they had heard sambhar alarm calls but were not taken seriously.
The whole episode surely highlights some abnormal behaviour by this tiger as the tiger normally avoids contact with humans, even if they are close by, it would either hide or run away. Under normal circumstances, a tiger would give enough warning signals like a roar, or mock charge before assaulting. Also, this is a tourism zone tiger who is habitual of human presence, so it was not new for him to see a forest guard on foot. He is a healthy young tiger, so the logic of killing for easy prey is also ruled out. Last, but not the least, the fact that he was reluctant to leave the body despite loud noise n crackers indicates unusual behaviour. The department would now need to seriously think something about this unpredictable individual so that any further instances like this could be avoided.
Meanwhile, the state chief minister has sanctioned a grant of INR 2 Mio & a job to surviving kin of the deceased whereas the forest department and hotel association have given INR 0.2 million rupees & 0.1 million rupees to the family whereas Prakirtik Society & Ranthambhore Foundation have contributed 50k each.