Chandrapur (Maharashtra): A woman forest guard was killed by a tigress in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra on Saturday morning while she was conducting a survey with three others to determine the number of tigers there, a senior official said.

The deceased forest guard, Swati Dumane, was attached to the Kolara forest range in the core area of TATR, he said.

“Dumane, along with three beat helpers, started a sign survey at 7 am on Saturday as a part of the All India Tiger Estimation (AITE)-2022. After walking for around four kms from Kolara gate till compartment number 97 under the core area of TATR, the team noticed a tigress sitting ahead on a road, approximately 200 metres from them. The team waited for around half-an-hour and tried to take a detour through a thick patch of the forest,” Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar, Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) of TATR, said in a statement.

The tigress, after noticing the movement, followed and attacked Dumane, who was moving just behind the three beat helpers. The tigress dragged her deep inside the forest, he said.

Later, on being informed about the incident, senior forest officials reached the spot and traced the body, which was sent for autopsy to Chimur Government Hospital, the official said.

Following the incident, the AITE-2022 exercise of sign survey and transect walk on foot has been suspended in the reserve till further notice and precautions to avoid such incidents are being taken, Ramgaonkar said.

All immediate help is being provided to Dumane’s family – her husband and daughter, he said.

A case has been registered by the forest department in this connection and further investigation is on, the CCF said.

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