Monday, December 3, 2012

Tiger on the prowl in Wayanad shot dead

Quite shocking. Not just because an animal has been killed, but because we didn't have an alternative to keep it alive.

Over the past 17 days, a wild tiger had been straying into living areas of Wayanad and attacking and killing many domestic animals and pets. This caused considerable dismay among the people, who were  pressing the authorities to do something to rein in the wild animal. A couple of days back residents blocked the main road and said they would lift the blockade only if their safety was ensured.

Photo courtesy: Mathrubhumi
So, forest officials from Kerala and Karnataka were called. They apparently tried their best to trap the tiger. But it failed since it was constantly moving from place to place. Then a decision to taken to fire tranquilizers. A few were fired. But the tiger wasn't tamed, and, according to officials, it had turned its ire towards people. Sensing danger to human beings, the officials decided to shoot the tiger dead.

Wildlife activists have said they would approach the court against the unlawful killing.

The issue brings to fore our inability to tackle such crises in a more even-handed manner. Indeed, safety of human beings -- from other human beings and animals -- is of paramount concern. But, it is a  bit hard to believe that the tiger couldn't be tamed with tranquilizer shots. Probably the dosage wasn't properly estimated or the shots were not properly fired.

I doubt if even the villagers would have wanted the tiger killed. They only wanted protection for themselves and their domestic pets.

Probably, the forest officials had come under too much pressure to resolve the situation. But, it's sad that a better solution couldn't found in all those two weeks.


  1. Yes it is sad. But human life is also as important as the animal's life, and in such times the choice is a bit tough.
    The goes for stray dogs, they are a real danger for people walking without even harming them, but the animal lovers turn blind eye to this problem.

    1. I fully agree with you. I am sure there would have been ways to insulate the people of that village from the tiger. Primarily, welfare of people is not a big priority, that's why such incidents happen in the first place.

      You are right on the issue of dogs as well. I myself was bitten by a dog, when I was returning from work in the night.

      There have so many instances of children being bitten by dogs, and I think there have been cases where the children have died.

      I have noticed that the people who are insensitive to this, are usually those who are not exposed to the danger of getting bitten by a dog.

      My only point was that we should have a mechanism wherein animals and human beings do not have to come to such a conflict situation. Regarding dogs, many things can be done to free the streets of strays. But unfortunately that is not at all a priority for people who need to do that.