Share
twitterlinkedinfacebook
Image 1 of 1
Sundarbans2011_AJ05.JPG
Rahul Morol, 14, is photographed outside his home one year after being attacked by a tiger while fishing with his cousin. "After the attack it took one and a half months to fully recover. Before the attack I was not afraid of tigers, but now I feel afraid.".In May 2010,  Ruhel and his cousin Rubel went to fish for crabs in the forest in a narrow canal called Tuskhali.  Fishing in these canals is extremely dangerous because the boat is surrounded by dense forest on either side, making it impossible to spot a tiger until it is too late. Their boat was moving through the middle of the canal when a tiger leaped onto Ruhel, clawing his head, back and chest. Rubel grabbed the tiger by its paw and tried to push it off his cousin, injuring his arms but scaring away the tiger. Rahul no longer works and has vowed never to return to the jungle. When his father ventures into the jungle, he fears for his safety, remembering the horror of the tiger attack. His cousin, too frightened to continue living and working in Jotinronaghor, left Bangladesh after the attack and now works as a painter in India.  Ruhel plans to be a shrimp farmer in the future and says, " I have no other plan. No other option."..The Sundarbans forest in Southern Bangladesh is the largest mangrove forest in the world. There are an estimated five hundred Royal Bengal tigers in the Sunderbans, and about fifty to sixty thousand people depend on the land, rivers and forest for their living. As climate change, hurricanes and cyclones continue to affect the area, the fresh water that once irrigated farmers fields has turned salty, rendering the fields useless. Many people live barely one meter above sea level. Because of rising sea levels and shrinking forest, humans and tigers are fighting for space. The farmers are forced into the forest to hunt for honey, fish, or collect crabs, putting them at risk for a tiger attack.