NEW DELHI, India, Jul 26 – Indian police made four arrests on Friday after a mob of villagers brutally beat to death a tigress that had attacked local people.
As a mobile phone video of the bloody incident went viral on social media, officials said one of nine people injured by the tigress earlier had died in hospital.
It is the latest in a growing number of man-versus-beast showdowns in India, which experts blame on shrinking habitat and food shortages for wildlife.
The tigress attacked people after straying out of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve park in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, district magistrate Vaibhav Srivastava told AFP.
Dozens of armed people surrounded the animal after it entered their village, chased it and bludgeoned it to death with wooden batons and spears, he said.
Thirty-three people were wanted over the killing of the tigress and four had been arrested so far, the magistrate added, saying the villagers were scared and angry after the attacks on humans.
The phone video showed people battering the animal as it lay nearly motionless on the ground.
Its corpse was cremated so the animal’s organs did not get into the hands of smugglers, officials said.
Around 30 people were killed by tigers in India in 2018, and more than 60 tigers have died or been killed so far this year across the country.
In one case last month a tigress and her two cubs died after villagers poisoned the carcass of a cow the animals had hunted a day earlier.
Tigers were close to extinction in India a few years ago due to poaching.
But the country is now home to more than half the world’s tiger population with more than 2,220 found in special reserves in a 2014 census.
The world tiger population has been reduced from about 100,000 at the start of the 20th century to barely 4,000, according to the World Wildlife Fund.