This year proved to be bad not only for tigers and leopards but also for human beings residing in and around jungle. The number of deaths of tigers and leopards has gone high up to 31 and 161 respectively and that of human beings to 82 in wildlife attacks.
Man-animal conflict is increasing around tiger bearing areas and other protected areas. It has become a head-ache for Forest Department as tiger or other wild animal attacking and killing villagers/local community members regularly.
Chandrapur district alone registered the highest number of deaths of people in tiger and other wildlife attacks this year. It alone recorded 65 per cent deaths of people in tiger attacks i.e. 34 out of 52 occurred all over Vidarbha region. This includes deaths of 8 persons in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve . There are deaths of 7 persons in tiger attacks in Gadchiroli district, 6 in FDCM areas in Gadchiroli district, 3 in Nagpur district and 2 in Yavatmal district while no death occurred due to tiger attack in rest of Maharashtra, according to official figures provided by Forest Department on Tuesday.
As many as 24 persons died in attacks by leopards all over Maharashtra this year, including 7 in Chandrapur district. Nashik registered highest number of deaths i.e. 9 in leopard attacks. Moreover, there are two deaths by wild boar attacks and one death in elephant attack in Chandrapur district. Nagpur district records two deaths in leopard attacks. The department disbursed Rs 12.30 crore by way of compensation to the family members of the 82 deceased persons.
The department registered a figure of 31 tiger deaths this year, including T-35 tigress that was found dead in Saleghat Forest Range under Pench Tiger Reserve on Tuesday. Of them 18 deaths are natural, 4 by poisoning, 2 by electrocution, 2 by poaching, 1 by train accident, 3 other reasons and 1 by bursting of crude bomb in the mouth of tigress in Pombhurna. Last year (2019-2o) the deaths of tigers was 18 and it was 22 in 2018-19.
Out of 161 deaths of leopards, 87 are natural, 64 in accidents, 4 by poaching, 2 by electrocution and 4 under investigation.