Row over tiger chasing video in Wayanad forest

A video of a tiger 'chasing a motorcycle' has triggered a debate on the social media regarding the location of the incident as well as concerns over animals.

While the video was posted by a NGO on June 29 with the caption that 'a tiger is seen chasing a bike in Muthanga Wildlife Safari in Wayanad in Kerala', there were also comments in social media that it happened at Bandipur in Karnataka.

However, the Kerala forest department officials were almost certain that it happened at Pulppally - Batherry forest road in South Wayanad. The forest department officials also rejected the claim that the tiger was chasing the motorcycle. The forest department ordered a probe into the incident as there were even allegations that the video, which could trigger panic, was shot and made public by couple of forest department officials.

Divisional forest officer, Wayanad (South) Mr P. Renjith Kumar told DH that from the video the location seemed to be Pulppally - Batherry stretch. However, the rumours that the tiger was chasing the motorcycle was baseless. From the behaviour of the tiger, it seems that the tiger was crossing the road along the forest and was quite scary on seeing the motorcycle.

He also said that on many occasions tigers were spotted in the locality as it was a forest area. But no instances of tiger chasing human beings were reported. A forest range officer was directed to probe into the matter and give a report, he said.

Assistant Wildlife Warden of Muthanga range Mr. Ajaya Ghosh also said that from the video it was clear that the spot was not Muthanga.

Meanwhile, the video also triggered comments on the social media that tiger was being wrongly framed as being chasing the motor cycle. Some also expressed concerns that tigers were wrongly framed as man-eaters and being killed.

Some had used the opportunity to criticise the development of roads and buildings along the forests. As long as the government believes that development means building roads and highways through national parks and tiger reserves, as they believe that humans are more important than animals, this abysmal stupidity will continue to happen. The tiger will be labeled man-eater and subsequently killed, commented a person.

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