Tigers and People in West Bengal

The Observer of 26.10.08 has a compelling story about the increase in the number of attacks by tigers in West Bengal. Yet it’s not just a recent problem. In the village of Deulbari there have been 15 attacks already this year, six of them fatal. “The ranks of the tiger widows are swelling and the horrifying tales are multiplying.” The article ends with the words of Ashutosh Dhali who was himself attacked and left with bad injuries to his left leg: “We love tigers. We can’t hate them. They are unavoidable, they are part of the place. There are a lot of tigers around now, but without the tigers it would not be the same jungle”. Are we prepared to live in this country with this level of risk from wildlife? There has been talk of reintroducing wolves into Britain. Are we prepared to take the risks involved?

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One Response to Tigers and People in West Bengal

  1. matt says:

    I read this article with interest as well because this situation of endangered species encroaching upon an ever expanding human population will only get more & more common.

    We already know about the well documented problems in southern African countries with elephants and other wildlife invading farmer’s crops but, this situation in Bengal is in some ways more difficult; the tigers have a taste for human flesh. I can only admire these people for their patience and holistic attitude towards the tiger. Of course there are others who happily hunt them too for their bones and skin.

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