Forest team was out to check presence of animal near Pulpally in Wayanad district; villagers block road in protest
A forest watcher was injured in a tiger attack at Anapanthi, near Pulpally, in the district on Sunday morning.
Sajan, 28, of Anapanthi tribal hamlet, near Vandi Kadvu in the district, was attacked by a tiger near the Anathavalam tribal settlement under the Chethalayath range of forests in the South Wayanad forest division.
The animal has been creating panic among the villagers in the Cheeyambam, Anapanthi and Vaandi Kadavu areas for the past many weeks after the animal killed several domestic animals. As per the direction of the Chief Wildlife Warden, the Forest and Wildlife Department on Saturday set up a cage with a bait to trap the animal. When a team of forest officials led by Chethalayath Forest Range Officer R. Ratheesan reached the spot around 11 a.m. on Sunday to identify the presence of the tiger, it attacked forest watcher Sajan.
Three others hurt
Three others were also injured in the melee and have been admitted to the taluk hospital at Sulthan Bathery.
Meanwhile, a group of villagers blocked traffic on the Pulpally-Sulthan Bathery State Highway at Irulam seeking protection to their life and property from recurring attacks by wild animals.
The blockade was withdrawn after senior forest officials, including South Wayanad Forest Divisional Officer P. Ranjith Kumar, held discussions with the villagers in the presence of I.C. Balakrishnan, MLA.
They told the villagers that the animal would be tranquillised, if it could not be trapped in the cage. They promised to set up one more cage with bait and more surveillance cameras in the area.
Compensation would be provided to the injured and the farmers who had lost their domestic animals in the tiger attack.
Patrolling by forest personnel would also be intensified in the area, they said.