Kumram Bheem Asifabad: The scare caused by tiger sightings and attacks on humans by continues to haunt Agarguda, Lodpalli, Kondapalli, Gundepalli, Digida and several other remote villages on forest fringes in Penchikalpet, Dahegaon and Bejjur mandal of the district for a long time.
A big cat was caught on camera by a motorist while it was crossing a road between Lodpalli and Sulugupalli village on Wednesday. A tiger was seen resting in an agriculture field on the outskirts of Agaraguda a few days ago. A carnivore regularly frequents Peddavagu to quench its thirst till the last week of May, sending the locals into a panic mode.
Kondapalli and Digida villages witnessed the killing of two tribal youngsters in a span of a month in 2020. An 18-year-old tribal girl, Pasula Nirmala was mauled to death while she was plucking cotton in her field on the edges of Kondapalli on November 29. Sidam Vignesh (22) was killed by a tiger while he was fishing in a stream at Digida village in Dahegaon mandal on November 11.
While foresters are making efforts to trap the suspected killer tiger, residents of these villages are living in the grip of fear following increased spotting of the big cats in agriculture fields and near streams. Motorists are hesitant to use Lodpalli-Sulugupalli road as they are often confronted by the solitary animal at a wooden temple of Golla Devara, a local deity.
When contacted, District Forest Officer S Shantaram said the tiger was moving in its usual path which criss-crosses through agriculture fields. It could be a male tiger which has been sighted often on the fringes of the forest. Compensation would be given to farmers whose cattle are killed by the big cat at the earliest, he stated.
Meanwhile, the attacks on humans by the big cats in the neighbouring Maharashtra are keeping the foresters on tenterhooks. At least five persons have been killed by big cats in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts in the recent past. They were attacked by the carnivore while they were moving in the forests to gather Tendu leaves or working in agriculture fields.
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