Mobs of villagers beat a tigress and crushed her to death with a tractor in northern India after the cat killed a man, forest officials said Monday.
The incident is the second controversial killing of a tiger in India in recent days. Sharpshooters on Friday shot dead a tigress known as Avni which was believed to have killed 13 people in the last two years in western India.
In Sunday's incident, an angry mob of about 300 villagers marched to the core area of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, beat up forest guards and attacked the tigress with iron-rods, spears and axes, forest official Mahavir Kaujlagi said.
The violence against the animal came after the tigress mauled a man in the park late Sunday evening.
"The irate villagers beat her mercilessly and later crushed her to death using a tractor," Kaujlagi said, adding a case was registered under the Wildlife Protection Act.
The tiger is India's national animal and arrests will made soon, the official said.
Villagers claimed the tigress had attacked another man a fortnight back.
The village of Chaltua is located near the park's core area and locals have resisted relocation efforts by the forest department even as authorities have warned of danger to humans from wild animals, media reports said.
Indians have taken to social media to protest the tiger killings which they say highlight the heightened human-animal conflict in several parts of the country.
The incident comes amid a row over the killing of Avni as wildlife activists lashed out against the forest department saying it could have captured her instead of killing her, which orphaned her two cubs.
Women and child development minister, Maneka Gandhi, also a known wildlife campaigner, castigated authorities for ordering the "ghastly murder" of Avni, saying the forest department violated several rules, for example by not tranquillizing the cat.
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated," opposition politician Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter, quoting India's freedom hero Mahatma Gandhi.
India is home to the world's largest number of tigers in the wild. They were estimated to number 2,226 in the last count in 2014, according to India's National Tiger Conservation Authority.
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