Neten Dorji | Trashigang

There has recently been brutal killing of cattle in Sakteng, Trashigang which has left herders worried and scared.

The latest incident occurred on the morning of August 1.

Highlanders said that tigers attack the cattle. The pasture is three days’ walk away from the gewog centre.

Rinchen Tshewang, 55, said that this has been happening for the past seven months. It’s always the same tiger.

“The tiger killed one of my heifers on July 30,” he said. “After a few days, my neighbours also lost three yaks to a tiger attack.”

Stories of cattle attacks by tigers are rampant in pasture areas.   

Sakteng valley

Another highlander, Lhundrup, said that herders have in all lost more than 15 cattle to tigers.

“In the past, only wild dogs killed domestic animals. It is now the big cat preying on livestock,” he added.

Tiger, he said, attack only yak and hybrid cattle.

“Very soon it might attack herders,” said Lhundrup. “Pugmarks have become a very common sight at the pastures.”

A herder said: “In the last five days, at least four cattle heads have been killed by tiger at Do-lung and Goendung pastures.”

Sakteng Tshogpa, Tshangpa, said that herders so far have not spotted the tiger.

Some herders have even started asking for compensation from Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sakteng Gup Tshewang Tshering said that the villagers depend on livestock for sustenance and survival in the harsh environment.

Officials from Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary said an investigation is being carried out to determine whether villagers can be compensated for the loss of their cattle to such attacks.

Park officials have set up camera traps.