A tiger on the prowl in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary killed a cow belonging to a farmer at Derode village in Nagargao panchayat area in Sattari taluka on Friday night, spreading fear among the villagers. The cow’s carcass was spotted by the farmer.
According to information received, Ladko Jadhav found that his cow was missing and following a brief search, he found the carcass lying in a water body located in the forest area adjoining his village.
Jadhav immediately alerted the forest department about the presence of a tiger in the village and narrated the incident. Forest officials soon reached the spot and found tiger marks on the cow’s carcass.
When contacted over phone, Deputy Conservator of Forests Vikas Desai confirmed that a cow has been killed by tiger. “We were informed about the incident by the farmer and our entire team, along with a veterinarian, rushed to the site and found tiger marks on the carcass of the pregnant cow,” said Desai. He said that the farmer has applied for compensation and added that the forest department has assured him of providing the compensation once it is announced by the government after following the due procedure.
“We will compensate
him after we receive the veterinary doctor’s claim and we have assured him that there will be no delay in the matter. After conducting panchanama and post-mortem, we disposed the carcass,” Desai said.
Meanwhile, forest officials launched a combing operation to push the tiger back into the forest area.
It may be noted that the cameras installed by the forest department had captured images of a tigress and two cubs at Satre in Nagargao in close vicinity of Derode village, which is also a part of the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary.
The incident of tiger killing the cow has spread fear among the locals and farmers, who are reluctant to work in their fields fearing attack by tigers.
Meanwhile, the Goa Dhangar Samaj Seva Sangh (GDSSS) has claimed that the family members of the suspects involved in the recent tiger killings in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary are going through tough times and urged the state government to direct officials to consider the humanitarian angle while dealing with the family members, especially the women.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, president of GDSSS B D Mote said that the incident is really sad and that the GDSSS condemns such acts. He said, however, one should also see the motive and reason behind the killing of tigers.
He said that the four families residing in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary since the last several decades before liberation are unaware of the implications of the Wildlife Act. He said the government should handle the case on compassionate grounds.
“The matter is under investigation and we condemn the incident. But sadly the accused’s family members are suffering a lot, as one elderly woman is sick and her health deteriorating,” Mote said.
Appealing to the media not to blame the entire Dhangar community for the tiger deaths, Mote said that GDSSS members had met Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar and Poriem MLA Pratapsing Rane. “The Chief Minister has listened to our grievances and said that inquiry will be conducted in a free and fair manner and no injustice will be done,” he said.
He further alleged that the forest department or any government machinery did not conduct any awareness on the matter. “The concerned officials of the wildlife sanctuary should have come up with an initiative of compensating the owner after the tiger killed the first cattle head. It would have prevented the tiger deaths,” he said.