A fumbling “rescue attempt” at Jim Corbett National Park in northern India has resulted in a digger crushing and killing a Bengal tiger, India’s national animal.The video has since spread like wildfire among angry Indian animal lovers.
The authorities say that the tiger had attacked a group of migrant laborers working at a stone quarry last week, resulting in the death of a man and woman, according to the Indian Express. The park was tasked with capturing the tiger and moving it further away inside the park.
After finding the tiger, rangers shot it with a tranquilizer gun and attempted to hoist it up using a JCB digger. However, amidst the panic, the digger slammed down and crushed the tiger.
The tiger died later that night. Although the wildlife officials claim it died from an infection and asphyxiation, activists are saying it undoubtedly died as a result of the injuries sustained during the attempted capture.
Video courtesy of Caters News
"This incident has brought humanity to shame,” animal rights activist Sarosh Lodhi told the Times of India. “We have received more videos from the incident last night by animal rights activists and it was shocking to see a mob of 200 people witnessing a national animal being tortured and harassed by Jim Corbett officials.”
The situation is made all the more sad considering the plight of this beautiful species. Bengal tigers are considered an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. Although there are other smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Myanmar, there are only around 1,500 left in India, and these are divided into highly fragmented small populations, meaning their conservation is made all the more difficult.