Huballi: Despite the forest department killing a man-eater that created havoc in Khanapur forest, attacking a woman and several cattle two weeks ago, the tiger scare hasn't diminished in the forest villages of the taluk. Another tiger is making frequent appearances in the area.
Dhanaji Patil and Mashnu Patil, residents of Mendil village of Khanapur taluk, claimed they sighted a tiger at Abanoli, 30 km from Khanapur town, on Wednesday evening. According to the youths, the tiger roared at them which made them drop their bike at the spot and run to safety.
Dhanaji Patil said that he and Mashnu had visited his sister's house at Abanoli village, located in the thick forest. As the terrain was hilly, he parked his two-wheeler a few metres away and they walked up to his sister's house. When they returned and kicked the bike to life, they saw the tiger standing a few metres away, opposite them. The tiger reportedly roared and threatened them, probably irked by the sound of the bike. "Before it turned violent, we dropped the bike and fled the scene," he said.
With the news spread, Khanapur MLA Arvind Patil visited Mendil to meet the youths. The visit came as a surprise for the villagers, who said such incidents are common in their village and they know how to handle such incidents. Dhanaji's family members said that as residents of forest villages, they often sight tigers and leopards. As all the tigers and leopard are not man-eaters, they claim they move fearlessly in the forest.
Krishna Gaonker, a villager, said a few tigers and leopards roam around Mendil village. According to him, the leopard menace has increased of late, and they hunt dogs in the village after dusk. "But tigers generally avoid humans. The best way to handle the situation is to avoid conflict, which Dhanaji and Mashnu did on Wednesday evening," he said.
"I informed the villagers about the incident just to alert them, not to create panic" he said. However, officials of the forest department denied reacting to the issue, saying they reply only after getting confirmation about the incident and the animal sighted.
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