Third leopard attack this year, man dead
In his thirties, victim yet to be identified. Guard spotted badly mauled body in isolated area of national park.
Express News Service
Mumbai, April 24: IN THE second fatal leopard attack this year, a young man was killed inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).
The man, whose badly mauled body was discovered by a forest guard on Monday morning in the core area of the forest, 1 km from Kurar in Malad (East), is yet to be identified. He was wearing a green shirt and white trousers and is estimated to be in his mid-thirties.
‘‘It’s gross indiscipline and carelessness on the part of people living around and inside the park to wander in, especially after it is dark,’’ said SGNP Director Dr P N Munde.
Conservationist Bittu Sahgal also emphasised that such unfortunate incidents were avoidable. ‘‘The solution to this man-animal conflict has been put before the state government years ago,’’ said Sahgal, editor of Sanctuary Asia magazine.
‘‘But it’s (the State) just dragging its feet over the implementation and starving the Forest Department of the funds it needs to do anything about it,’’ he added.
Sahgal also said that regulation of people’s entry inside the SGNP and an absolute restriction after dark, building of a boundary wall and removal of encroachments were vital to prevent such attacks.
The man, a victim of the third leopard attack this year, was probably mauled on Sunday night.
‘‘From the state of injuries on the right side of his body, it seems like he had already been dead for at least 12 hours when the guard saw him at about 7 am,’’ said SGNP Assistant Conservator K Birari, who inspected the site with Munde on Monday morning.
‘‘He (the victim) might have been intoxicated to have walked into this portion of the park, away from the encroachments,’’ he added.
After Birari and Munde informed the Kurar police, a panchnama was done.
‘‘The man does not reside in the forest and has not been identified yet,’’ said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone XII) Shivaji Bodke. ‘‘His stomach and a large part of his body have been eaten.’’
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