Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Four-year-old girl killed in Indian leopard attack

Express News Service

Vadodara, november 6: Four-year-old Lakshmi Ninama, a resident of Dhanpur Patadi village of Limkheda taluka in Dahod district, died after she was attacked by a leopard in the wee hours of Sunday. The girl was sleeping with her mother outside their hutment when the incident happened.

According to Limkheda Range Forest Officer (RFO) Narendra Chauhan, the leopard picked up the minor and dragged her to a seasonal river nearby. The child’s death was caused as she received major injuries to the right side of her head, said Chauhan.

According to forest authorities, when the girl’s mother did not find Lakshmi sleeping beside her, she raised an alarm. "There is farmland between the village and the river where the ploughed soil remains wet due to the sprinkling of water," said Chauhan. Villagers who were looking for the girl followed the pug-marks of the leopard through this soil and found her body lying near a cave near the Vakdi river, he said. Forest authorities said the pug-marks also revealed that the leopard was a female and also had a cub with it.

Division Forest Officer (DFO) of Devgadh Baria taluka, L V Damor said further details would emerge when the post-mortem report came out.

"Leopards are found in this area, but they usually do not harm the villagers. Such an incident took place three years ago where a baby was snatched by a leopard in a similar manner," said Chauhan.

But, according to other forest officials, reports of a man being attacked by a leopard came in from the Devgarh Baria division last week. "Chatur Amar, a 50 year-old man, was dragged by a leopard, but luckily he received very few injuries and survived," said a forest official.


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