Indian forest officials announced a shoot-on-sight order yesterday for a Bengal tiger that killed five villagers in northern India. Officials suspect the big cat wandered away from Jim Corbett National Park. They also say it appears to exclusively attack humans, reports the Calcutta Telegraph.
Five villagers, including a 12-year-old, were reportedly killed by the same tiger in the past several weeks across the state of Uttar Pradesh. Reports of the tiger first surfaced when the cat killed a 32-year-old man on Dec. 26. A 35-year-old woman was mauled yesterday in the latest known attack, according to the New York Daily News. She was killed approximately 200 miles east of the initial sighting.
This fifth casualty spurred protests and a five-hour blockade of a key highway. In the same day chief wildlife warden Rupak De declared the tiger a “maneater” and issued the kill order. Officials say the cat evaded previous attempts to trap and tranquilize it.
“Conservation of wildlife being people-dependent, we cannot allow more losses of human lives,” De told the Telegraph. “We are now in search of sharpshooters who can kill the tigress.”
This shoot-on-sight order follows similar tiger-related deaths in southern India. Last month officials ordered the successful dispatch of a tiger that attacked and killed three people in less than one week, according to NDTV.