In Telangana, shrinking habitats lead to desperate cats and more human-animal conflicts -Swathi Vadlamudi

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published Published on Feb 13, 2021   modified Modified on Feb 13, 2021

-The Hindu

In separate incidents, two people were killed by tigers in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district of Telangana in a span of just 20 days in November last year. While the tiger population has increased, habitats have diminished leading to more man-animal conflicts, reports Swathi Vadlamudi

Pedda Vagu, the sinuous stream which originates in the Kerameri Hills of the Kumram Bheem Asifabad district in north Telangana, was a silent spectator of a ghastly incident over three months ago.

On November 10, a Koya tribal youth, 20-year-old Sidam Vighnesh, and his cousin, 12-year-old Sidam Srikanth, went fishing in Pedda Vagu. They laid their catch to dry on a flat boulder on the banks and went home. The next day, the two of them along with their neighbour P. Naveen (14) decided to divide the catch equally, so that they could use it as bait for bigger fish. Vighnesh went to the nearest semi-grown teak tree to pluck its leaves into which he could apportion the dried fish. Little did he know that a tiger lay in the thickly grown fire flame bush beside the teak.

“We thought Anna (brother) was playing hide and seek when he didn’t return. We approached the tree stealthily, but found him crouching near it,” Naveen recalls.

Vighnesh was gesturing to them frantically, asking them to leave as he had spotted the tiger. He did not notice that the feline was already creeping up on him. As Srikanth and Naveen ran for their lives, they heard Vighnesh scream.

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The Hindu, 13 February, 2021,

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