Tigress enters home to escape cyclone fury

New Delhi,May 27: A family hit by the ferocity of cyclone Aila in a village near the Sundarbans had a bigger shock awaiting them when they found a full grown tigress crouching in their home.

Pintu Mirdha and his family members in Jamespur village under Gosaba police station in South 24 Pargana district were trapped in their home encircled by flood waters as the cyclone raged outside on Monday.

As the water level rose, Pintu was petrified to find the predator in one of the rooms.

Mirdha managed to lock the room from outside and raised an alarm, Subrat Mukherjee, Field Director of the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve said.

The Bidya river nearby, which had been rising steadily as the cyclone approached, had breached an embankment and flooded a part of the reserve, which has the world’s largest mangrove forest, forcing the animals to seek safer places.

The tigress might have entered the house in search of safety and did not harm anyone of the five-member family, Mukherjee said adding she might have strayed from the nearby Pirkhali forest.

Forest officials rescued the family and then organised to tranquilise the tigress yesterday. It was put in a cage and later released in the forest, he said.

Mukherjee said that two deer had also entered the Satyanarayanpur village in Bali island where the villagers rescued them and handed over to the forest authorities. Another deer was found dead at Haldibari, he said.

Reacting to media reports of about a dozen tigers having been washed away in the floods, the Field Director said, “We don’t have any such report”.