Conflict: A tiger killed five cattle on the nights of January 9 and 10 in Wangling, Bumthang.

“A cow and a bull are suspected to have been killed on January 9,” said Samten, a cattle owner from Choetoe.  On the night of January 10, three more bulls were killed.

The cattle belonged to five households of Chotoe village on the bank of Tangchhu.

The incidents were discovered on the afternoon of January 11 when Samten went with salt to feed the bulls.

“Two of the five cattle were found dead with deep canine punctures on their necks and big cuts on their bodies,” Samten said.

Khangrub Tshogpa Tshering Dorji said the carcasses of the two other bulls were found only on the morning of January 12. One bull was found half devoured. The other was stripped to the bones.

The fifth bull died on January 12 on its way to Choetoe village from multiple puncture on neck and lacerations on hump and body.

The villagers fear that the tiger must be on the rampage because three bulls have gone missing from Wangling.

“We have not been able to locate them yet,” Samten said.

No pugmarks have been found but villagers think it is tiger judging by the way cattle were killed. Tshering Dorji said only a tiger could take down prey this size from the neck and drag it around.

“Other predators usually eat their prey first from vulnerable spots like eyes and vents. Tigers suck up blood, abandon the carcass and then return later to eat,” Tshering Dorji said.

Last year, tiger killed cattle in Dharung and Thodrak Goempa. None of the family has received compensation from the government yet.

The villagers have stopped informing the authorities because they have given up the hope of getting compensated, said Tshering Dorji.

Tempa Wangdi, Bumthang