Tigers maul, kill Maharashtra forest guard

Nagpur, April 22 (IANS) In a gory tragedy, a forest guard was killed by a family of tigers when he had gone to replenish their watering holes in the deep forests of Bor Wildlife Sanctuary, around 45 km from here, officials said.

The guard, Sitaram M. Wadve, 45, accompanied by two helpers, had gone to replenish the watering holes Thursday evening and was reported missing since then, an official of Selu Police Station in Wardha said.

However, Saturday evening his mangled body parts were found in bits and pieces in a two sq km area by tribals and villagers, police said.

According to police, he had told his helpers to go away and he would follow them since he had a motorbike and wanted to clear the grass on the approach route to the watering hole.

Later as dusk fell, the family of tigers, including a tiger, a tigress and their three cubs arrived there to drink water, but they did not disturb Wadve as he was a familiar figure.

"Apparently, the tiger cubs tried to become playful with Wadve and must have knocked him down. Later, they chewed out his body parts believing it to be a game and spread them over such a large area," Amit Girhe, who knew the victim and works for an NGO, Srushti Paryavaran Mandal, told IANS.

Hailing from Garamsur village in Wardha, Wadve - survived by his wife, three daughters and a son - lived in the government accommodation in Bor Wildlife Sanctuary.

Girhe said that in the past one year, over a dozen human deaths have occurred due to attacks by tigers or leopards in the Vidarbha region.

"A majority of the deaths occurred due to negligence by the victims who did not adhere to the protocols to be followed while stepping into these forests," he explained.