Indian police have shot dead a tiger who was accused of killing nine people, officials said Sunday. The operation involved 200 people, including trackers on elephants.
Officials said the tiger terrorized locals living on the border of the Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Champaran in eastern India. They stopped going out in the evening after the tiger’s first attack.
After failed attempts to tranquillize the animal, authorities gave permission to kill the male tiger, estimated to be around three or four years old.
“Two teams went into the forest on two elephants on Saturday afternoon, and the third one waited where we thought the tiger would exit — and we fired five rounds to kill it there,” local police chief Kiran Kumar told news agency AFP.
It took about six hours for the team of eight shooters and about 200 forest department officials to complete the operation, Kumar said.
Locals celebrated after the tiger was killed. “It was a sleepless night for the whole village. We kept beating tin containers to shoo away the tiger if at all it was hiding near our village,” villager Paltu Mahato told the newspaper Hindustan Times.
Conservationists blame the rapid growth of human settlements around forests and reserves for an increase in human-wildlife conflicts in India.
India is home to around 70 percent of the world’s tigers, with an estimated population of 2,967 in 2018.