NEW DELHI: Armed forest guards on Thursday shot dead a man-eating tiger in northern India, an official said, with villagers breaking into celebrations and parading with the dead animal’s carcass.
The three-year-old animal was blamed for killing three villagers and injuring three others since September, promoting authorities to launch a massive search operation in the dense forests of Himalayan Uttarakhand state.
“There was resentment among the villagers, who were gripped with fear and panic after several attacks,” Uttarakhand chief warden of forest and wildlife D V S Khati told AFP.
“Although she was a man eater, our priority was to tranquillise her but we had to fire bullets to kill her after many failed attempts to capture her,” he added.
Hunters and locals villagers jointly conducted the 44-day long operation to locate the tiger after a woman was killed outside Jim Corbett park in early September.
Authorities used drones and helicopters along with elephants and hunting dogs to assist the scores of ground staff to track the evasive animal.
Jubilant villagers paraded the carcass of the tiger for nearly three hours, celebrating the death of the predator that inspired fear from villagers and tourists.
Media reports say 100 tigers have died in India so far in 2016, of which 36 were killed by poachers.
India is home to more than half of the world’s tiger population with some 2,226 of the animals roaming its reserves, according to the last count in 2014.