Wayanad : A large number of villagers on Tuesday took out a protest march and laid siege to a busy road in this high-range district of Kerala demanding immediate intervention of authorities to check the increasing threat posed by wild animals especially tigers.
Holding placards and a banner, the protesters, including women, children and senior citizens, raised slogans and sat in the middle of Sulthan Bathery-Ayiramkolly Road seeking a permanent solution to the wildlife menace in Ponmudikotta here.
The protests were carried out under the aegis of an action council of local people.
Around 15 domestic animals including goats had been reportedly killed by tigers, on the prowl in residential areas, in the last two months in Ponmudikotta.
A cattle-killing tiger had been caged by wildlife officials from the area some months back.
Villagers alleged that two cubs of the trapped tiger are still on the prowl in human habitations killing domestic animals and giving them sleepless nights.
They also raised suspicion of the presence of another tiger and a leopard in some pockets of Ponmudikotta, despite several surveillance cameras and cages being installed by Forest Department officials.
An agitated villager, who took part in the protest, said it is a do-or-die battle for them.
"This protest march and siege are just part of our token strike. If authorities are not ready to open their eyes, we will lay siege to the office of the District Forest Officer and the national highway in the next phase," he told reporters.
Another protester urged wildlife officials to install more surveillance cameras and cages in the region.
"The Rapid Response Team of the department should be deployed in Ponmudikotta. A tiger was spotted by some people nearby their home even last evening...We are living in fear," he said.
Kerala has been witnessing several similar protests by local people against the increasing threat posed by wild animals and seeking a permanent solution to check them straying into inhabited areas.
Last week, a large number of villagers had protested against the straying of wild elephants in Idukki district. PTI