The danger of venturing into the prohibited areas of Sunderbans was came into the forefront again on Tuesday evening when a tigress jumped from the bank of a creek and tried to leap back with a man in its jaws. But she could not carry the man and left him there. The forest officers, who soon reached there, identified the creature as a tigress from its footprints.
Tigers killing fishermen in the Sunderbans area is a common phenomenon there. But this incident at Jharkhali’s Herabhanga jungle in the creek of Herabhanga River, terrified the local residents. The forest department officers have covered the area with net.
The victim, 62-year-old Sushil Majhi, who was heavily injured, resides less than kilometre from a creek that runs deep into the forest, along with his son Jyotish (40). Majhi would often row up the creek to catch crabs.
On Tuesday, at the crack of dawn, the two set out on a boat to the forests of Jharkhali, an area where fishing is banned.
Jyotish sat in front of the boat with Sushil in the middle. That is how they balanced the vessel while pulling in the net.
“Shortly after we reached the spot, we got a whiff of a strange odour. We immediately decided to turn back to a safer zone,” Jyotish said. They were paddling towards a less dense area when a tigress that had been stalking them struck.
“I was stunned, and my body froze. All I saw a flash of yellow. It took me a moment to register the gruesome sight before me. My father was completely buried under the creature and I could only see his legs thrashing about. I shook off my numbness and grabbed a sickle and started to hack the tigress from back. It left my father there and ran away,” he said.