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Priest killed in tiger attack near Dudhwa, search for big cat on

Bareilly: A priest of a temple situated near the forest area of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) was attacked and dragged into the forest by a tiger in the Tikunia area of UP's Lakhimpur Kheri district on Friday night. Villagers found his partially-eaten body in the forest on Saturday. Pugmarks confirmed the presence of an adult tiger.
Since 2020, 18 people have been killed in tiger attacks in Khareta beat of the Singhahi forest range of DTR. This is the third death to be reported from the Tikunia area in a span of one month. On May 21, a farmer working in his cane field was mauled to death by a tiger in the area. On May 23, a man following a bullock cart on his bicycle was killed by a tiger near Majhra Purab railway station.
Villagers said Mohandas, alias Moolchand, who was in his 50s, had come outside the Ram-Janki temple to fetch water from a hand-pump, when he was attacked by a tiger and dragged away. He lived alone in a hut on the temple campus. Villagers found the priest missing on Saturday morning and a few hours later, discovered his mutilated body near a railway track that passes through the forest area. Nearly 80% of the flesh was missing. They informed the forest department and staged a protest, demanding that the animal be tranquilised.
Confirming that the big cat had eaten the body, Sanjay Pathak, field director, Dudhwa, told , "We have deployed multiple teams to comb the area on elephant back as the tiger may return to its prey base and attack another human. We have also installed camera traps to locate the animal. After identifying the killer tiger, we will seek permission to tranquilise it."

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