Nim Dorji | Trongsa

It is 6.30am, May 29: Dorji Khandu gets a call from his neighbour. In Sembji, a tiger has killed a heifer. With his son Ugyen Thinley, Dorji Khandu rushes to the scene.

Whatever needs to be done to help their neighbour they must do it quickly and return home for farm work.

Dorji Khandu has so far lost close to a dozen cattle to tiger. Without power tiller, Dorji Khandu and Ugyen Thinley begin digging the terraces for paddy cultivation.

Ugyen Thinley is worried. It could be one of his cows next. Cattle herding has become a dangerous affair in the village.

Dorji Khandu said that tigers were increasingly attacking cattle in Nubi Gewog.

“People do not report the cases because they did not get the compensation of the loss,” he said. Villagers say tigers have become more visible today.

Sonam Choden, Dorji Khandu’s neighbour whose heifer was attacked by a tiger, said she saw the tiger leap into the forest. “Had I been less careless I would have been attacked.”

Ugyenmo, a villager, said tiger paw prints were becoming more common in the village. “Just a day before the incident, I saw two different paw prints near the electric fence.”

If people have to go to town, they go in groups.

“We go early and come home early,” Ugyenmo said.

Tiger conservation centre is planning to clear the nearby forest, develop the pasture and provide electric fencing.