Farmer mauled to death by big cat in Komaram Bheem-Asifabad district

ADILABAD: A 69-year-old tribal farmer, Sidam Bheem, was killed in an attack by big cat, suspected to be a tiger, in Chowpanguda gram panchayat in Wankidi mandal of Komaram Bheem-Asifabad district on Tuesday.

Officials from forest department were unsure whether the farmer was attacked by a tiger or a leopard. His body was discovered with lacerations on one side of his face and bite marks on the throat and back of his neck. The incident occurred around 2.30 pm, and the animal had dragged Bheem's body a short distance after attacking him, according to some farmers.

When the attack occurred, the farmer was picking cotton, and a neighbouring farmer, who reported hearing Bheem's shouts, immediately alerted Bheem's family, who were eating lunch near the field. They, along with some other farmers who rushed to find Bheem, discovered his body some distance from where he was attacked.

The cotton fields where Bheem and other farmers were harvesting cotton are said to be ROFR lands where podu cultivation permits were previously granted. The location of the incident is a one-hour walk into the reserve forest from the forest's edge.

While forest department officials were unsure about the big cat that killed the elderly farmer, villagers from Chowpanguda reported that earlier in the day, a tiger attempted to attack a cow in Gondapur village within the gram panchayat limits, and that it could be the same tiger that killed Bheem later that afternoon.

"We will send the samples from the bite marks for analysis to the CCMB in Hyderabad for DNA testing to determine whether it was a tiger or a leopard from the saliva residue," Asifabad district forest officer G. Dinesh Kumar said. He also stated that there had been no reports of tigers in the area, and that no pugmarks could be found due to the hard and rough terrain, and that the farmer could have been attacked by a leopard.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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