In the Sunderbans forests between India and Bangladesh, climate change is pitting people against tigers – with deadly consequences. John Vidal reports on how extreme weather and shrinking habitats are bringing humans and beasts into closer and more perilous contact. From The Guardian:
Tarak Babu could have seen or heard little in the seconds before he died. His village of Jelepara in the far south-west of Bangladesh is desperately poor and has no electricity, and the young fisherman was walking back with food for his family at about 8.15 in the evening.
It was June 20 – monsoon season. Tarak was walking along the high earth embankment that protects Jelepara from the river Chunkuri, and had just passed a small Hindu temple with its gaudy, painted wooden effigies of the tiger god Dakshin Ray. He would not have seen the real tiger that had just swum across the river from the great Sunderbans forest 400 yards away. It hauled itself out of the water and mauled him from behind. No one even heard Tarak cry out.
But that was just the start of the drama in Jelepara that night. According to Selina, a young woman who lives only a few hundred yards from the scene of the killing, the beast then dropped down off the embankment, and silently entered Gita Rani’s family compound in the village. It tried to take a chicken, but Gita came out when she heard the commotion in the hen house and was promptly killed.
The tiger then went into the house where it killed her father-in-law, Aghoire Mandal.
Click here for more and to watch the video, The hunt for a man-eating tiger