New Delhi, April 6: 21-year-old woman from Bhandara district of Maharashtra grabbed international headlines after her courageous fight with a tiger to protect her goat broke on Wednesday. The woman named Rupali Meshram is a commerce graduate. She lives in Usgaon village of Bhandara district and is recuperating after receiving treatment for injuries to head, legs and waist.

Speaking to news agency PTI,  Rupali  said,”I heard our goats bleating around midnight, and went out into the shed where we keep them to see what was the matter.”

After seeing the goat being attacked, Rupali said that she picked up a stick and began hitting the tiger, which then pounced on her.

Fortunately, her mother Jijabhai came there and ran to help her.  She managed to drag Rupali inside the house and close the door. Rupali’s uncle who lives in Sonegaon also reached there and alerted the forest department. Forest officials arrived at the spot and took Rupali to hospital l in Bhandara and later to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Nagpur.

Rupali complained that other than reimbursement of expenses of treatment at Bhandara, she didn’t get any financial help from the forest department. Her mother sold off some jewellery to raise money for the treatment, she said.

Vivek Hoshind, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bhandara, refuted Rupali’s claim that it was a tiger which attacked her. “Pug marks of a leopard were found in the vicinity. Besides, there was no tiger movement recorded in that area,” he told PTI.

(With inputs from PTI)