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Tiger drags fisherman off boat as children watch helplessly

There are only an estimated 3,200 Bengal tigers left in the wild.
There are only an estimated 3,200 Bengal tigers left in the wild.
Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

Shades of “The Life of Pi” cast their shadow over a small stream in the Sunderbans National Park in eastern India as a Bengal tiger leaped into a boat and grabbed Sunshil Manhhi as his son and daughter looked on helplessly. mangrove swamp as his children looked on in horror, the man's son said Friday.
According to the boy, the family was crab fishing when the attacked occurred.

“The tiger clamped his jaws around my father’s neck and quickly flung on his back and gave a giant leap before disappearing into the mangrove forest," Jyotish Manhi stated over the telephone from his village of Lahiripur in West Bengal state. Although he and his sister said they tried to beat the animal with sticks and a knife, they attempts to save their father were unsuccessful and he was dragged away. While his body has yet to be recovered, it is presumed that he is dead.

Sunderbans National Park is one of the largest preserves for the royal Bengal tiger, of which only 3,200 are believed to be left in the wild, partly because of diminishing habitats due to human expansion, as well as poaching to at satisfy a rampant market in China for tiger bones and organs. While it is illegal to hunt there, many poor villagers venture into the area to fish for crabs, which fetch high prices in nearby villages, despite the risks. In fact, this was the 4th deadly attack reported in Sunderbans this year.

In addition to India (which is said to be home to 1,706–1,909 of the world’s remaining tigers, Bengals are also found in Bangladesh (about 440 animals), Nepal (with an estimated 163–253 Bengals) and Bhutan (home to about 67–81 of the big cats known for their yellow to light orange coats, dark brown to black stripes and ringed tails. Males generally grow to be anywhere from 35-43 inches long and weigh 400-550 lbs., while females are somewhat smaller at 220-350 lbs.