Killing Dogs to Save People in Wake of Tsunami

Shortly after the horrendous tsunami that struck southeast Asia, the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu faced a problem with feral dogs that were attacking refugees, especially around mealtime. Tamil Nadu responded by organizing roundups of stray dogs and then killing the feral dogs.

Shantha Sheela Nair, who headed up relief efforts in Tamil Nadu, told the Daily Telegraph that a gruesome after-effect of the tsunami apparently led the dogs to begin focusing on human beings,

The starving dogs’ behavior changed after they began eating animal and human corpses washed ashore soon after the tsunami.

After the bodies were cleared, the dogs apparently began threatening and attacking humans at refugee shelters.

According to the Daily Telegraph, stray dogs are a major problem in India and responsible for a staggering 20,000 rabies deaths each year. People who dump the carcasses of animals in centralized places have encouraged the emergence of packs of carrion-eating dogs which can end up attacking human beings.


Cull begins after feral dogs attack survivors. Rahul Bedi, The Daily Telegraph, January 1, 2005.

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