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On January 12, 2022, as the state of Assam celebrated Bhogali Bihu, which marks the end of the harvest season, the people of Borsola village in Sonitpur district were caught up in the chaos created by an unexpected visitor from the nearby Orang Tiger Reserve.

An adult tigress named T-7 had picked up a stray dog and was resting within a harvested paddy field when some villagers spotted her. A mob gathered, panic ensued, and people started pelting stones and even set fire to the dry paddy, further agitating the animal. 

While the tigress ran amok, so did the people trying to flee the area. One villager tried to confront the animal and sustained minor injuries. Thankfully, the incident concluded without any fatalities, and the tigress eventually retreated into the forest.

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“Tyger Tyger, burning bright” ― the opening line of the William Blake poem that inspired millions, comes to the fore in this gorgeous frame of a dry paddy field that blatantly ousts its striped refugee.
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Once the villagers caught wind of the cat in hiding, they gathered in large numbers, men, women, the elderly and the kids. They started pelting stones, forcing the tigress to come out in the open.
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People even set fire to the dry paddy field to try and scare the big cat and chase her back into the forest. But it only angered the animal, forcing it to confront the closing-in mob.
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One man tried to confront the tigress with a long bamboo pole and eventually became the cat’s target. In the foreground, you can see a physically challenged person running away from the scene.
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The tigress attacked the man, bringing him down to the ground and biting his hand. Luckily, she spared his life, and the man only suffered minor wounds.
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T-7 roared in anger, one last warning, before turning away from the fleeing mob.
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A cattle herd watches the apex predator stroll past as she retraces her steps back into the forest.
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While it's often difficult to decode a conflict situation, one thing is for sure—fear fuels it from both ends.