The Conflict between tiger and human has to a new level in the mangrove forest of the Bangladesh.Thirty people were killed by tigers last year and three tigers by people. Since Cyclone Sidr [November 2007] and Cyclone Aila [May 2009], when 1,000 people who lived near to the water had their homes flooded and were forced to move inland. Hungry people now risk facing a tiger attack everyday when they go into the forest looking for food. On February 6 in southern Sundarban. A Bengal tiger had just killed a 40-year-old woodcutter called Mabud, deep in the mangrove forest when he was collecting firewood in the area of Char-shesher. One villager told me ‘We enter the jungle searching for food and the tiger kills us . . . the tiger comes to our village, we kill the tiger’.
I took these photos on February 6 in southern Sundbaran . One of his fellow woodcutters, Abul Sarder, told me that five of them entered the jungle to collect firewood and suddenly a tiger attacked them. ‘When we had escaped we realised that Mabud had not. We tried to save him but failed to fight off the tiger.‘
They then ran back to the village and brought more than 120 villagers with sticks, Potka (local made fireworks that make a cracking sound), Kuthers (wood-chopping axes)and Das (heavy knives), in order to get Mabud’s body back from the tiger. They did, finally, but were afraid that the hunter might come back to the village still hungry.
Abul said that they know the dangers of the forest, but have no other means of survival. The embankment has collapsed three times within the last two years, flooding their homes and ruining their livelihoods, and pushing them further towards the forest.”