Hunt on for Indian tiger after eighth human kill

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Mumbai (AFP)

Indian authorities are hunting for a tiger which has killed eight people in the last two years after another fatal attack, officials said Wednesday.

The big cat's latest victim, an elderly villager, was mauled to death late Monday when he ventured into a forest for firewood in Khambada, around 660 kilometres (410 miles) from the financial capital Mumbai.

"We have been trying to capture the tiger using tranquillizer darts but with no success," N.R. Praveen, a forest official in Maharashtra state, told AFP.

Human encroachment on tiger habitats has increased rapidly in recent decades in the nation of 1.3 billion people, leading to deadly conflicts.

Nearly 225 people were killed in tiger attacks between 2014 and 2019, according to government figures.

But the big cats have also suffered. More than 200 tigers were killed by poachers or electrocution between 2012 and 2018, the data showed.

In June, a tiger blamed for killing three people was captured and sent to a zoo in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Officials said the big cat was "too dangerous" to be allowed to roam free.

India is home to around 70 percent of the world's tigers.

Last year, the government said the tiger population had risen to 2,967 in 2018 from a record low of 1,411 in 2006.