DIMAPUR, March 1 - A tigress, which was allegedly killing livestock for over a week, was killed by the villagers of Medziphema in Dimapur district on February 29.
The villagers initially decided to scare and chase the animal away from the village periphery, said an elderly villager. All able-bodied men of the village was mobilised for the task and at around 10.30 am, they were able to track down the tigress just outside the village. Even as the villagers were chasing away the tigress deep into the forest beyond the village, one young man was mauled by the cornered animal, causing deep gashes on his head and body. The villagers eventually killed the tigress at round 1.30 pm.
The killing of the tigress resulted in a custody tussle over the felled animal�s corpse with the district administration and the Forest Department officials virtually pleading the villagers to hand over the animal�s corpse to the department for completing necessary formalities as it involves a highly endangered species. The villagers were unrelenting as it was a matter of prestige for the village.
The Medziphema ADC arrived at the village soon after and reasoned with the villagers on the legal implications of hunting endangered wildlife. The village elders maintained it was done solely with the intention of protecting human life and livestock. The ADC also appealed the villagers to hand over the corpse to the Forest Department to which the villagers were reluctant, citing customary symbolism of bravery and honour. They, however, relented and handed over the corpse to Forest officials late in the evening.