Claim of tiger attack in Goaltore
Tamluk: A member of a tribal group that had gone for a hunting ceremony in the forest of Goaltore on Sunday afternoon was purportedly mauled by a tiger.
The Goaltore forest is on the border of West Midnapore and Jhargram districts and about 8km from Lalgarh where a tiger was sighted by hidden cameras last week.
Joyram Soren, who received at least eight stitches on the left arm at the rural health centre in Goaltore, said he had "clearly seen the tiger whose pictures had appeared in newspapers" and it pounced on him and bit the left arm.
Joyram, 47, was referred to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.
About 20 tribal men had gone to the forest of Goaltore as part of a hunting ceremony.
"We set fire to dry leaves to smoke out wild animals from their hiding places. Soon, small animals like wild boars and monitor lizards leapt out of hiding places and we chased them with bows and arrows and axes," said a member of the group.
From his hospital bed, Joyram said: "When we were chasing the animals, we spotted the tiger - the same one whose pictures appeared in newspapers. The tiger appeared to be scared and tried to run away as it felt cornered. As the animal ran, I came in the way and it pounced on me and bit the left arm. The tiger then ran away."
Joyram's version was corroborated by Baidyanath Mandi and Pudan Mandi who were also in the hunting group.
"We all saw the tiger and rushed to help Joyram. We saw the tiger disappear into the jungle," said Baidyanath.
Chief medical officer of West Midnapore, Girish Chandra Bera, said: "Those who admitted Joyram to the medical college told doctors that he had been attacked by a tiger. Doctors are treating the wound received by the patient who is stable. We can't say whether it was a tiger or other wild animal."
A West Midnapore forest officer said a team would visit Goaltore forest on Monday to look for tiger pugmarks.