Leopard kills another child

Leopard kills another child

05 March 2016

published by http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

India–  In another incident of a big cat snatching a toddler in less than 10 days, a four-year-old was killed by a leopard on Friday night at Jaletha village in Jaharikhal block of Lansdowne forest division, Pauri district. Last week, too, a four-and-a-half-year-old girl was killed by a leopard at Odal village of the same area and that too in broad daylight, which is quite unusual as leopard usually hunts at night.

Following the two incidents, schools of the area have been closed till the man-eating leopard is trapped or killed. However, in none of the two instances, the leopard could eat the body, as every time, the body was instantly discovered or saved from being dragged away by the feline.

According to Nitishmani Tripathi, divisional forest official, the leopard pounced on the victim, Arushi, daughter of Amardeep, as she was climbing up the stairs of her house on Friday night. Her mother heard her cries and the spitting of a leopard. She managed to scare away the beast with her screams. But it was too late as the girl had died of the injuries inflicted by the leopard while holding the child by the neck.

However, with two casualties and also a failed attempt, in which a woman was injured a few days ago, the forest department has taken measures on a war footing. “We have deputed teams of three shooters in different directions. I have deployed 50 forest employees on day and night patrolling duty at various locations, where they are served food and other requirements so that they do not need to leave their stations. Though a leopard was trapped two days ago, still I kept the shooters as well as staff on their positions because the female leopard had its canine intact whereas we suspect that the real man-eating cat is still at large,” said Tripathi.

He said, all the shooters have now converged at Jaletha village. Camera traps have been installed to keep vigil on the leopard’s movement around the village. The pugmarks have been traced. The cages have been mounted in the village. He said, the villagers are being alerted and warned over loudspeakers not to venture out in the evenings. Their suggestions are also being taken to take further safety measures.

A forest official said a forest fire may have forced wild animals to come out in search of preyin the the forests in Pauri are engulfing in fire, which is most probably set on by locals for getting new grass for grazing and, forcing animals to come out for hunting purpose, the leopards are now looking for new territories and prey. Another theory, he said that after the female has been trapped in cage, another male looking for her in this mating season, must have grown aggressive and, attacked the girl.

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