New Delhi, Apr 17 (PTI) Expressing dismay over the killing of a tiger in Lalgarh in West Bengal by locals, an animal protection body today asked the state government to book those responsible for it and also involve experts to tackle such conflict situations.

The adult tiger that had strayed into the forest of Lalgarh in West Midnapore district last month was killed by the locals recently and the carcass was recovered from the forest.

The organisation, World Animal Protection, said that the local hunters used spears and bows and arrows to kill the cornered creature on April 13 and urged the authorities to investigate if it was a victim of “ritual hunting”.

“We call upon the state government to involve experts from outside in case they lack the requisite ability to humanely tackle conflict situations involving tigers and other species of endangered wildlife in Bengal.

“We reiterate our original request of humane and professional handling of all animals caught in conflict situations, effective coordination between all departments, enhanced sensitivity among the local populace for protecting wildlife among others,” said Gajender K Sharma, India Country Director, World Animal Protection.

The body also strongly urged the government to conduct a proper investigation into the death of this tiger and strict implementation of the Wildlife Protection Act with regards to any ritual practices that kill large numbers of wild animals.

The body said that the big cat had been roaming in a 30-sq-km swathe stretching across Jhargram, West Midnapore and Bankura districts since March 2, when it was spotted first.

From drones to live traps and tranquilising teams, forest officials had tried different techniques to capture the animal but all these efforts failed, leading to the death of the tiger at the hands of the local villagers who indulge in ritual hunting.

“We urge the authorities to bring to book those responsible for killing the tiger and punish them along with those who failed in their duty to secure the safety of this migrant animal, Gajender said.

The body said that it is also currently the hunting season for tribals that has led to massive killing of all kinds of wild animals and India’s national animal that is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act.

It has also come to light that several protocols laid by National Tiger Conservation Authority for tackling tigers in conflict situations were violated during the attempts to capture the tiger and the area in the vicinity of where the tiger was spotted was not adequately secured, it said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.