KALAIGAON, Aug 5 - At a time when wild elephants and leopards have been tortured mercilessly or even done to death in several places of the State with alarming regularity, the villagers of Borobazar village near Rowta in Udalguri district have set an enviable example by supporting the Forest Department for nearly a year, even after sustaining considerable loss due to the presence of a full-grown Royal Bengal tigress in the locality since November 11 last year.
The villagers living in and around Borobazar village near Rowta have been experiencing sleepless nights as the prowling tigress possibly strayed out of Orang National Park last year and has since then occasionally killed 36 domestic animals till date, including bullocks, milch cows, pigs, goats etc.
The villagers also faced difficult times while cultivating their fields during the current paddy season. Confined to their homes soon after sunset, the ruralites rarely dare to venture out in the darkness of the night lest they fall prey to the big cat.
In the meantime, the tigress has probably found an ideal den in the forest growing along the bank of the Dhansiri river, and settled down.
Forest Department personnel of both Darrang and Udalguri districts have been working hard day and night for safe translocation of the tigress.Unfortunately, she has till date evaded all attempts to capture her. MK Sarma, DFO of Dhansiri Forest Division inUdalguri told this Correspondent that several unsuccessful attempts had been made to capture the F-03 (code name for the tigress as per analysis done by NTCA, Guwahati).
He also informed that veterinary experts from WTI, CWRC, Kaziranga National Park had camped in the forest on two earlier occasions to capture the feline.
Recently, Dr Bhaskar Choudhury and Dr Samsul Haque from WTI arrived at Borobazar on August 1.They had a difficult time patiently waiting for the tigress in a camouflaged cottage surrounded by knee-deep flood water and forests. However, the wily tigress was not one to be outwitted. Though she cleverly avoided them, the tigress nevertheless killed a pig in another part of the village at around 10.40 pm.
Both the experts highly praised the local villagers for their grit, patience and tolerance inspite of continuous loss and sufferings for nearly a year. MK Sarma, DFO of Udalguri and Ramesh Gogoi, DFO of Darrang also appreciated the positive role played by the local villagers.
Not surprisingly, wildlife activists of Darrang and Udalguri districts have expressed displeasure with NTCA for not taking any positive step in the matter.
Dipen Boro of ABSU, who is an inhabitant of Borobazar village, thanked the Forest Department and the villagers, but said that NTCA had miserably failed to protect tigers in Darrang and Udalguri districts.