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Monday, July 15, 2013

Tiger mauls calf in Valparai..... and that tiger killed by cow

Recently there was the news of a one-and-a-half-year-old calf  found mauled by a tiger in a cattle yard at Senguthuparai estate staff quarters near Valparai.  The owner saw the tiger  running away from the cattle yard into a bushy area in the region. On reaching the yard, he found the calf mauled to death.

Nothing much to read ~ jungle law – predators eating prey… only thing here is the cattle was in an area where humans live… sure to bring fear in the minds of the residents nearby… perhaps some are used to seeing some wild animals here [may not be a tiger though !]  ~ it is Valparai in Western Ghats located above 3,500 feet from the sea level on the Anamalai mountain range.  It is a place known for its coffee estates, greenery and woods…

 ~ about a couple of month ago, a pack of about 30 dholes (Asian-reddish brown forest dogs) killed a domestic cow grazing near Koolangal River in the plantation town of Valparai after chasing it though human settlements.   Locally known as Chennay, dholes are expert hunters.  The locals  crowded the area but the endangered animals continued to eat unmindful of the gathering audience. The dholes then reportedly took a small break, retreated to the jungles, but came back two hours later to finish their feast. 

On earlier occasion there had been reported attacks by tigers, leopards and elephants on human beings and domestic animals ~ not dholes.  The farmer who lost hiw cow stated that it was the sixth successful attempt by the dholes on his cows. The wild dogs seemingly have developed a craze for cow's meat after attacking a cow six months ago. It was lamented that officially there was no compensation for domestic animals killed by wild animals. The dhole (Cuon alpinus), also called the Asiatic wild dog or Indian wild dog, is a species native to South and Southeast Asia. The dholes are classified as endangered due to ongoing habitat loss, depletion of its prey base, competition from other predators, persecution and possibly diseases from domestic and feral dogs. According to experts, the dhole is a highly social animal, living in large clans which occasionally split into small packs to hunt. It primarily preys on medium-sized ungulates, by tiring them out in long chases, and kills by disemboweling them.

I had in May 2012 posted of a completely different killing – that of ‘a tiger mauled by cow’ in this same Valparai. [http://www.sampspeak.in/2012/05/tiger-mauled-by-cow-in-valparai.html

Most times, it is power game and the more powerful dominates the week.  In India cow is venerated – cows and buffaloes are reared for milk – even today, one can see cattle freely roaming in the streets of Triplicane and some other parts of Chennai city causing trouble and inconvenience to people.  Cows are basically shy and timid, though residents who encounter them on road would feel otherwise. The Tiger the largest of cat species is often most ferocious – man cannot withstand its fury and naturally none of the domestic animals can.   It was reported that in Apr 2012, a 10 year-old tiger sneaked into a cowshed in the thickly populated Periyar Nagar in Urilikal estate.   The attack will have only one ending – the aggressor harming and killing the cattle, taking the young ones away as prey.  The powerless cow would feel traumatic and might even die out of shock or due to the bite and injuries of the tiger.

As if to provide a cinematic twist, this time, the tiger which would have expected a soft prey was  in for a rude shock  as the cow retaliated and gored the ferocious wild animal into submission.  To the surprise of everyone around, the tiger was unable to walk and was confined to the cowshed till late in the evening, when a veterinarian tranquilized it.  The braveheart bovine  had injured the  tiger in abdomen and in the right thigh during fight which eventually proved fatal. Surprisingly,  the cow suffered only minor injuries.

Strange indeed – Tiger becoming a victim to a Cow.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

15th July 2013.

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