Tigers on the prowl in Nubi gewog

At least one cow is reported killed everyday in the gewog

Wildlife: A tiger is reported to have killed two Swiss brown cows, a calf and a breeding bull in Semji village in Nubi, Trongsa and injured another three in Laozhong in the last five days sending fears among the villagers that it might attack humans next.

Although tigers have preyed on livestock in Nubi in the past, its intrusion to cattle sheds around 200 meters away from the village is alarming villagers.

“There are chances of people being attacked because I encountered two tigers on the road recently in broad daylight,” a villager from Semji, Dorji Khandu said.

Nubi gup, Tashi Pendhen, said stories of encounters with tiger are rampant in villages. “People are talking of encountering tigers on the road often,” he said.

In Karzhong, it was reported that tigers were prowling even within the villages. “In some villages, some villagers spotted even near their doorsteps,” Karzhong tshogpa, Kezang Jurmey said.

The rampant preying on livestock has concerned the people of Semji, Bemji and Karzhong. In the last four-five days, at least four cattle heads were killed in Semji, dzongkhag livestock officer, Sherab Tenzin said.

On October 11, a breeding bull and three cows were killed in Semji.

Dorji Khandu said it’s been over three years since a tiger started attacking and killing cattle.

“The tigers killed three around 2pm on October 11,” he said, adding they had found the breeding bull dead in the morning.

About two months ago, farmers in Jongthang reported losing 18 cattle heads in 17 days to a tiger.

“The tiger killed one every day,” Kezang Jurmey said, adding one cow also escaped with minor injuries in Gagar on October 15.

Last month, Dorji Khadu with other villagers from Semji lost 11 cattle heads to tiger attacks. “In 2013, I lost 11 cattle heads,” Dorji Khandu said.

Annually, scores of cattle are lost to tiger attack according to the villagers. But most villagers have stopped reporting the loss of cattle either to parks or dzongkhag administration because of a lack of livestock depredation compensation.

“In 2011, despite sending the report to park, I got no compensation and people have stopped reporting now,” he said.

On October 11, officials were informed since a breeding bull, which was supplied by the livestock office was killed.

“The loss of cattle could be high but most aren’t even reported,” the livestock officer said.

Tempa Wangdi, Tingtibe

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