Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bengal Tiger Rips Man From Fishing Boat

A Bengal tiger is said to have dragged Sushil Manjhi into a mangrove swamp. Photograph: Mahesh Kumar A/AP
A Bengal tiger snatched a man from a fishing boat in eastern India, dragging him into a mangrove swamp as his children looked on, the man's son said on Friday .

The attack happened on Thursday as Sushil Manjhi and his son and daughter were crab fishing in the Sundarbans national park. The tiger leaped aboard the boat and clamped its jaws on Manjhi's neck, his son, Jyotish, said. "[The tiger] quickly flung my father on his back and gave a giant leap before disappearing into the forest." Jyotish and his sister tried to beat the animal with sticks and a knife, but his father was dragged away and was presumed dead.

The attack underlines the difficult existence of millions of poor Indians who make a living by scavenging in forests and rivers, often at risk from wild predators. Many villagers fish for crabs in the Sundarbans – even though it's illegal in the protected reserve – because they fetch a good price at markets in nearby towns.

The national park is one of the largest reserves for the royal Bengal tiger. Thursday's attack was the fourth deadly assault by a tiger this year in the Sundarbans, wildlife officials said
India has more than half of the 3,200 tigers believed to be left in the wild in the world. But as the country undergoes development to accommodate the growth of its 1.2 billion people, tiger habitats have been shrinking. The animal's numbers have also dwindled because of poaching carried out to feed a flourishing market for tiger organs and bones in China


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