The 10th human in six weeks has been killed by a female tiger prowling villages outside its normal territory in northern India, while evading hunters on its trail.
The big cat mauled a 50-year-old man as he was collecting firewood Sunday night near the village of Kalgarh, near the border between the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, according to Deputy Director Saket Badola of the Jim Corbet National Park.
The animal ate parts of the man's leg and abdomen before being scared away by villagers waving shovels and metal rods.
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Meanwhile, hunters hired to kill the animal were having trouble tracking its pug marks in dense forests, according to Rupek De, chief wildlife warden of Uttar Pradesh.
Wildlife officials believe the tiger strayed into forests beyond Corbett, India's oldest national park, which was established in 1936 to provide endangered Bengal tigers with safe territory.
"The animal has started attacking humans because it is not getting its natural prey. The tigress must be tired because it is not getting adequate rest," De said.
India's wild tigers are considered endangered thanks to rampant poaching and shrinking habitat as India undergoes breakneck development to accommodate the staggering growth of its 1.2 billion population.
India today has more than half of the 3,200 tigers estimated to be left in the wild. Despite dozens of tiger reserves across the country, however, the numbers have sunk from an estimated 5,000-7,000 in the 1990s, when the big cats' habitat was twice as large.
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