Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tiger mauled by Cow in Valparai


Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the World – but when that would happen, whether one would be enjoy its happening and whether at all it would happen are always moot issues. 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.

Valparai is a hill station in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, located 3,500 feet above sea level on the Anaimalai Hills range of the Western Ghats, at a distance of 100 km from Coimbatore and 65 km from Pollachi. Valparai is known for its tea plantations, surrounded by evergreen forest.   It is a rich elephant tract and is  also habitat the Nilgiri Tahr, an endemic wild goat.  The human-elephant conflict here is a delicate issue. The tea plantations are a hindrance to the movement of wildlife, particularly elephants who walk large distances to reach water bodies and feeding areas.

The Tiger the largest of cat species is often most ferocious – man cannot withstand its fury and naturally none of the domestic animals can.  Tigers have stout teeth, strong and powerful limbs and sharp incisors.  They are territorial and generally solitary but sometimes come into conflict with humans – in places closer to hillocks having dense forests, incidence of big cat straying into the neigbourhood killing domesticated animals are often reported.  

Recently, there was news of tension in Valparai and surrounding areas on Friday [27th April 2012]  after a 10 year-old tiger sneaked into a cowshed in the thickly populated Periyar Nagar in Urilikal estate.  Valparai is ringed by forests including the Anamalai Tiger Reserve and attacks by leopards and elephants have been reported. However, this is the first time in recent years that a tiger has entered a homestead.  Generally such news 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.

R Gnanasekaran, a resident of Periyar Nagar in Valaparai near Coimbatore, was the first person to notice a tiger in his cowshed around 6.30am. He possessed a lone cow.  The tiger had killed a calf owned by Gnanasekaran two days ago and left the half-eaten carcass behind.  The owner was frightened naturally !!

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 Gunasekaran and 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.    Though the tiger couldn't move, its periodic growls and snarls left the crowd that had gathered at Gnansekaran's house wondering whether the animal would attack. Forest officials had a tough time controlling the rush of people. At noon, they tried to trap the tiger in a net and shift it to a cage but failed. By sunset, a Vet  tranquilized the tiger and the animal was shifted to a cage.

Surprisingly,  the cow suffered only minor injuries. People have often have heard or seen jungle animals injuring and sometimes killing humans – cattle getting killed is common.  This tiger had a different story although and succumbed to its injuries later.  – a Tiger victim to a Cow.  After postmortem it was stated that the tiger had injuries and had porcupine quills in its heart and intestine, suggesting that it was already ill either in a fight or due to eating porcupine !
Strange indeed – Tiger becoming a victim to a Cow. 
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


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