Indian police have arrested four people as a mob of villagers had beaten a tiger to death after he attacked local people. The mobile phone footage of the incident had gone viral on social media platforms. Officials have confirmed that one of the nine people injured by the tiger had died. This animal-human encounter is the latest in a growing list in India.
Experts have blamed the shrinking habitats and food shortages for the animal-human encounters. District magistrate Vaibhav Srivastava told AFP that the tiger attacked people after straying out of the Pilibhit tiger reserve in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. He said that dozens of armed people had cornered the tiger after it had entered the village. The villagers had chased the tiger and bludgeoned it to death with wooden batons and spears.
The magistrate had added that thirty-three people are wanted for the killing of the animal. Four of those people have been arrested by the authorities. The villagers were angry and scared after recent attacks on humans. The viral phone video shows the villagers battering the animal as it lay on the ground motionless.
Officials say that the corpse of the tiger was collected from the spot and was cremated so that the organs of the tiger did not get in the hands of smugglers. In 2018, about 30 people have been killed by encounters with tigers. So far this year, 60 tigers have died across the country. A tiger and two cubs were killed last month as villagers had poisoned the carcass of a cow the animals had hunted a day earlier.
Tigers had come close to extinction in India a few years back due to poaching. But according to a 2014 census, India is home to more than half the world’s tiger population with more than 2,220 found in reserves. World Wildlife Fund reports that the global tiger population has been reduced from about 100,000 at the start of the 20th century to barely 4,000.