Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gaur Attacked Guide

Homnath Lamichhane, 35, a nature guide, was attacked by Gaur (Bos gaurus) in Chitwan National Park on February 8, 2010. He was attacked by a male Gaur at the grassland of Marchauli area when he was returning from whole day jungle walk from tented camp area following the fireland.

Homnath was guiding a Irish guest Peter Wrigley with sikari (helper) Som Chaudhary through Tiger Trail Adventure Tours, a guide office based in Sauraha. According to the account of guest and sikari, Dharma Datta Paudel of Tiger Trail said that Gaur suddenly appeared from the tall grassland and attacked them. When Gaur suddenly appeared, guest and sikari, who were behind the guide, ran away. Then Homnath was knocked down and hit by Gaur for some 7-8 times. Peter and Som asked help from local people who were cutting grass in the surrounding area but they did not help them. Victim was brought to the edge of the Rapti river in a tractor which was there for transportation of grass and firewood. Dharma took victim to Bhartpur Hospital but they referred him to Medical College. They treated the wounds sustained at the left leg and head. Since there is injury in head, he was taken to Neuro Hosptial Bansbari in Kathmandu on the same day where his treatment is going on.

Jit Bahadur Tamang, president of Nature Guide Association said that there is no allocation of emergency fund to support for guides who suffer from wildlife during jungle walk. If necessary, the Association would take initiative to raise funds from guides, hotels and various organizations to support the victim.

The incidence occurred in the area whose management is under the jurisdiction of Mirgakunja Users' Group Committee. Basu Chapagain, president of Migakunja UGC, said that there is no provision in the bylaw of the UGC to support the people who are attacked by wild animals. He informed that Nepal Government has recently sanctioned the law to compensate victims of wild animals. NPR 150,000 will the provided in case of death and up to NPR 50,000 will be provided if person is injured depending upon the nature and severity of the injury. Procedure to claim the compensation is done through national park if such incidence occurred in the park or its buffer zone areas. Basu said, "These procedures generally take up to 3-4 months to be concluded. UGC could provide the victim up to 15,000 as advance money that would be later deductible from the compensation."

Homnath's health condition is getting improved. "This is the first case, when Gaur attacked guide." said Dharma.

(See also the blog Encounter With Tiger below)

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