By Our Correspondent Dhangadhi, Feb. 15: With increasing movement of a Royal Bengal Tiger noticed in Kailali Community Forest, security measures have been tightened in the area. Only on Friday, a Bengal Tiger charged 28-year-old Durga Prasad Chaudhary of Dudhiyaka, of Kailari Rural Municipality-8. The encounter with the tiger left Chaudhary badly injured. Likewise, on Saturday, the tiger gripped an entire settlement under grave terror after coming out of the forest on the East-West Highway. The said tiger wreaked havoc in the nearby settlement within the Gauriganesh Community Forest, killing and devouring a calf. Considering the growing risk of an attack, tiger-sighted spots and nearby parts of the forest are being frequently monitored. Even after tightening the security, the wild cat did kill a woman on Sunday. It killed Kala Dhami, 25, Gauriganga Municipality-5 when she was collecting grass, according to police. “Given such cases of tiger sightings and attacks, we have banned human movement in the forest areas,” informed Gobinda Sharma Lamichhane, member of Coordination Committee Masuriya. According to Sharma, increasing number of people have been navigating the forest area for Saal leaves (Shorea robusta). “Since Saal leaves are the quintessential requirements during weddings, and Falgun being a wedding season, locals roam around the jungle to collect the leaves,” he added. Likewise, to save humans from tigers and vice versa, community forest rangers and members have been deployed in the area. Lamichhane himself had come close to the tiger during a routine detour in the jungle to check and set up additional trapping cameras. Going about his job, Lamichhane was suddenly face-to-face with the fearsome beast. “At a single breath, I climbed the tree and was able to flee the tiger’s wrath,” he recounted with a sigh of relief. “He prowled and circled in and around the tree for a long time, eyeing his prospective prey. I was hanging for dear life from atop a tree bark. Later the tiger left me alone taking one of my fallen shoes, perhaps as a souvenir,” said Lamichhane, clearly relieved. So far it’s unclear whether the tiger came from either Bardiya or Dudhuwa National Park. “We haven’t yet decided if we should let the tiger stay in the community forest or not. As a priority, we have simply tightened the security,” added Ram Chandra Kandel, Chief of Division Forest Office, Kailali. “So far, there’s nothing more we can do than beef up security. Those who were injured in tiger attack will be provided with insurance,” reassured Chief Kandel. There are a few reasons why a tiger would leave its natural habitat to migrate elsewhere. As per Bishnu Prasad Shrestha, Chief Conservationist at Bardiya National Park, mostly the aging tigers incapable of hunting, injured or disabled ones, tigers which are outperformed by much stronger ones usually are compelled to travel elsewhere. Likewise, those
in search of mates also migrate to nearby jungles. The tigers seen in Kailali Community Forest can be from Bardiya National Park, claimed Shrestha. “There are 87 tigers in the National Park and we have captured photos of each one of them,” he added. “We can compare the photo of the tiger found in Kailali with those available at our database to confirm this assumption,” he explained. Tigers are territorial creatures. In Nepal, usually, a tiger demarcates around 20 kilometres of area as its territory. The tiger found in Kailali should be thoroughly observed and researched. “The tiger there is probably old or disabled, which may be the reason for it to vacate its previous territory and relocate there,” said Professor Karan Bahadur Shah, an expert in wildlife.