Two men were killed after being attacked by a tiger in Bardia National Park in western Nepal on Tuesday, officials said.
The victims, aged 25 and 27, were gathering wild mushrooms in a forest together with five other friends when the tiger attacked them, according to Subharani Tharu, deputy mayor of the Madhuwan municipality where the park is located.
Bardia National Park, around 700 kilometres west of Kathmandu, is a popular tourist destination where many come hoping to see Royal Bengal tigers and horned rhinoceroses.
Forest officials and locals rushed to the site of the attack after being alerted by villagers.
The Royal Bengal tiger only abandoned the bodies after forest authorities fired multiple gun shots into the air, Tharu said.
“The tiger had torn off a hand and eaten it,” Tharu told dpa.
At least a dozen people have been killed in tiger attacks in Nepal since January, according to media reports.
The conflict between people and wildlife has intensified in recent years due to the destruction of animals’ natural habitats and as food becomes more scarce.
However, at the same time, population numbers are improving for some endangered species such as the tiger and the one-horned rhino.
Nepal’s big cat population had increased to 235 in 2018, up from 121 in 2009. (dpa/NAN