Tiger menace on the rise in Kodagu district

Tiger menace on the rise in Kodagu district

Fear has gripped the residents of the villages situated on the periphery of the forest in Kodagu district after cattle were attacked by a tiger in the last few days.

On the one hand, wild elephants have been straying into the villages and destroying crops and on the other, the tiger has been creating fear in the villages. 

More than five cattle have fallen prey to the tiger in the last one week in the district. Residents allege that the Forest department is silent on the issue.

Last year, tiger menace was experienced on the periphery of Nagarahole Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Brahmagiri wildlife, Birunani, Beeruga, Nalkeri, Balele, Kottageri, Nittur, Nalluru, Kumatooru, Mayamudi, Dhanugalu and other areas. This year, once again, the region is affected by the tiger menace. 

Residents who have been depending on dairy farming for livelihood are worried over protecting the cows from tigers and are in distress. 

Cows were killed by a tiger at Birunani village in Virajpet and Asthana colony in Siddapura in Virajpet recently. The cows that were left for grazing have fallen prey to the tiger attack. 

Kodagu is surrounded hilly areas and forest and there is doubt whether the tiger that attacked the cows at Birunani and Maldare are same. The tiger has been targetting only cows in the district, according to farmers. 

“It is difficult to rear cows on the periphery of the forest at Maldare and Birunani. The tiger menace is on the rise every November and December. We want a permanent solution to check the tiger menace,” said resident Raja of Ponnampet. 

Lokesh, a farmer said, “The Forest Department fails to compensate properly for the death of cows in a tiger attack.” 

Farmers are scared to tie cattle inside cowsheds during the night. Rich farmers have constructed proper doors for the cowshed, but the poorer ones have not provided proper security for the cowshed. 

With the spotting of tiger pug marks in Maldare and Siddapura, the colony residents are living in fear of attack by tigers. 

The Forest Department has installed CCTV cameras to track the movement of tigers at Asthana colony. The camera and cage were installed last year also, which has not helped the officials to catch the tiger. Will the installation of CCTV cameras help farmers? asked farmers. 

The farmers are in distress following the wild animal menace. Fearing for life, labourers are also not ready to work in coffee estates. The Forest Department should chase elephants camping inside the coffee estates back to the forest, said Raitha Sangha office-bearers. 

According to experts, tigers do not drink the blood of its prey. It catches the neck of the cow to consume its meat.

As there has been a rise in the attacks on cattle by the tiger, there is a possibility that the tiger has lost its strength to hunt down other wild animals or it has been detached from its group, felt experts.