India man-eating tiger dies after being electrocuted

Indian tigers can come into conflict with humans encroaching on their habitat (AFP Photo/Dibyangshu SARKAR) (AFP/File)

A tiger which killed four villagers in central India has died after being electrocuted, an official said Sunday, ending a hunt by armed rangers for the beast.

A court in Maharashtra state issued a shoot-to-kill order Friday against the two-year-old female tiger after its latest victim, a woman, died earlier this month.

But efforts to capture or kill the tiger were called off after it strayed against an electric fence near a village early Saturday, said Rishikesh Ranjan, field director of Pench Tiger Reserve.

"She died at 2:30 am after getting electrocuted. We have recovered the body," he told AFP.

"The fencing was erected by the villagers to keep away wild animals, especially boars."

The tiger named "Kala", meaning black in Hindi, was initially captured in July after killing two villagers and injuring four others in Brahmapuri in Maharashtra state.

It was fitted with a radio collar and later released into the nearby Bor Wildlife Sanctuary, but went on to attack and kill another two people.

Tigers do not generally attack humans, but some experts believe they can acquire a taste for human flesh after an initial attack.

India is home to more than half of the world's tiger population with some 2,226 of the animals roaming its reserves, according to the last count in 2014.

Dozens die every year, sometimes at the hands of poachers, while reports of man-animal conflict are not uncommon.

In October last year forest guards shot dead a tiger blamed for killing three villagers outside Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand state.

Villagers celebrated by parading with the dead animal's carcass for nearly three hours.