The Bengal tiger, which as a species can grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 850 pounds, grabbed the man, identified as 62-year-old Sushil Majhi, who was on the boat with son and adopted daughter.
The family is from Lahiripur, a city in the Indian state of West Bengal that borders with the Sundarbans, a protected forest that houses one of the largest reserves for the Royal Bengal Tiger. A nearby creek, close to where the elderly man was fishing, runs deep into the forest. The man and his family were fishing in a prohibited area.
A tiger had evidently been stalking them, and fearing an attack, the family rowed out deeper into the water.
The Inquisitr provides a rather detailed recounting:
The decision to turn back however was too late. Within minutes, the tiger who had been stalking them all the while went for the kill. The tiger leapt on to the boat, grabbed Sushil by its huge paws and took him away. The entire attack lasted only a few seconds. The woman on the boat screamed out and by the time Sushil could do anything, he saw the gruesome sight of his father being mauled by the giant tiger. Sushil adds that his father’s body was completely under the beast and that he could only see the man’s legs thrashing about.
The son, 40-year-old Jyotish, and the younger stepdaughter used sticks and a knife to try to attack the tiger, who was standing over their father. But the tiger simply turned and dragged Sushil into the jungle. The man has been presumed dead.
The tiger “quickly flung my father on his back and gave a giant leap before disappearing into the forest,” Jyotsih said.
Reports The Associated Press via Yahoo! News:
The attack underlines the difficult existence of millions of poor Indians who make a living by scavenging in forests and rivers, often at risk from wild predators. Many villagers fish for crabs in the Sunderbans — even though it's illegal in the protected reserve — because they fetch a good price at markets in nearby towns.
India has more than half of the 3,200 tigers believed to be left in the wild in the world. But as the country undergoes breakneck development to accommodate the growth of its 1.2 billion people, tiger habitats have been shrinking.