Rashmi Ranjan

Panic gripped the residents of Jalamadei village in Sunabeda sanctuary of Nuapada district after an elderly woman reportedly died after being attacked by a Royal Bengal tiger on Sunday evening.

The deceased has been identified as Sanamati Barik.

According to sources, the big cat strayed into Barik’s house from the backyard and dragged her. 

However, the wild animal ran away into the forest leaving the body of Barik behind after hearing the screams of the local residents, sources informed.

On being informed about the incident, the forest department officials rushed to the spot and confirmed the death due to a tiger attack after examining the paw marks and circumstantial evidence.

“A Royal Bengal tiger attacked an elderly woman leading to her death at Jalamadei village. When the villagers chased the tiger, it left the body behind. However, the big cat ate some portion of the woman's body,” said Siba Prasad Khamari, ranger of Sunabeda sanctuary. 

“If it was a leopard, it would not have eaten its prey immediately. As it was a Royal Bengal Tiger, it ate some parts of the body immediately after killing the woman. Moreover, the paw marks also confirm Royal Bengal tiger is the predator. We have cautioned the villagers to remain alert,” Khamari added.

However, the PCCF (Wildlife), Sushil Kumar Popli denied the reports of Royal Bengal Tiger attacking the woman. Clarifying on the issue, Popli said that the victim was killed by a leopard and not a Royal Bengal Tiger.

(Reported by Mayadhara Saraf & Kapilendra Pradhan, OTV)