The incident occurred when Bastiya village resident Sarita Devi had gone to collect fodder into the forest along with other women. A tiger attacked her while she was cutting grass slightly away from her group. By the time other women realised that Devi was missing from their group, the tiger had mauled her to death. The women had to call local residents to shoo the animal away as it was sitting near the body.
Divisional forest official Ashok Kumar said that tigers have been straying into nearby forest divisions from NWLS and attacking people venturing into forests. He said that villagers enter forest areas despite being warned by forest department officials.
NWLS deputy director Prakash Arya said that Devi was the third victim of tiger attack. Earlier, a woman was killed by the big cat in March and another in April in Haldwani forest division.
“Around 25 tigers were spotted in camera trap images in NWLS last year. In all the three incidents, different tigers have been seen through the images. We are now trying to get fresh images from the latest incident to compare it with others and come to a conclusion,” said Arya.