Nuapada (Odisha): A 65-year-old woman was killed by a big cat, suspected to be a Royal Bengal Tiger (RBT), late on Sunday evening.
The carcass of the woman identified as Sanmati Barik of Jalmadei village of Sesong Gram Panchayat within Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary in Nuapada was recovered by the forest officials on Monday morning. According to the report, on Sunday evening, Sanmati had gone to the backyard of her house to fetch firewood from the adjoining forest, when the suspected tiger prowling near the bushes jumped and attacked her. While the villagers rushed to save her hearing her screams, the tiger dragged her few meters into the forest and then disappeared into the dense forest.
Though the forest officials were informed, they advised the villagers to wait till the morning and visited the village on Monday morning. During the search, they found a half-eaten carcass of Sanmati which was recovered and seized for autopsy. Reportedly, the left part of Sanmati’s body was found missing. Subsequently, an investigation was launched to identify the big cat.
Deputy Range Officer, Shiba Prasad Khamari said, “We have searched the entire area. The pug marks and the injury marks on the body of the deceased suggest that it was a Royal Bengal Tiger. However, we are yet to ascertain if it is true. We are also trying to trace out from where it had come. The body has been sent for autopsy to Nuapada DHH. We have also deployed out staffs at the village to sensitise the villagers to not move out of their houses in the evening.”
Official source in the forest department informed that, though no tigers have been spotted by the people here in around last 5 years, in a census conducted in 2020, at least eight tigers have been reported to be living inside the Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary which is a proposed tiger reserve.