The residents of six villages near the Sundarbans are literally living in fear for their lives as a hundred footprints of two tigers were spotted in Sonatala village of Bagerhat’s Sharonkhola.
Two tigers left the Sundarbans and crossed the Bhola river and entered the village early hours of Thursday (January 12) and roamed over an area of about one kilometer of Sonatala village, said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Sundarbans East Division Muhammad Belayet Hossain.
Later, the forest department, Village Tiger Response Team (VTRT), Community Patrolling Group (CPG) and villagers searched various areas throughout the day in search of the tigers. However, no tiger was found in that village till Thursday evening, he added.
The two tigers went back to the forest after roaming different places in that village, claimed the Forest Department after tracing all the footprints the tigers left on the ground. However, villagers were advised to stay on alert, and have just spent an anxious weekend remaining vigilant.
With this, tigers have left the Sundarbans and entered the locality more than 50 times in the last 15 years. During this time, both man and tiger have lost their lives due to counter-attacks.
Villagers demanded effective measures to prevent tigers from entering the locality.
Harun Bhadda of Sonatala village said that he woke up early in the morning and saw hundreds of the unmistakable imprints of the tiger's paw around his house. Ever since seeing them, his entire family has been gripped by fear of tigers.
In Sonatala village, the Bhola River has almost filled up with silt and has only two to two-and-a-half feet of water. In the Tajur Gate area under the Bhola camp of the Sharonkhola range of the Sundarbans East Division, countless tiger footprints were spotted on the river bed.