Thursday, December 28, 2006

Leopard attacks in Indian district on rise

Express News Service

Vadodara, December 27: Four people have been reported injured due to leopard attacks in Shehra taluka of Panchmahals district. It is the third reported instance of leopard attacks in four months within Vadodara, Panchmahals and Dahod forest circle. Earlier, a child had been mauled to death by the animal in Lunavada. Forest officials have set a trap and are trying to trace the leopard.

Out of the four injured people, Vijesinh (40) from Chitripura village, is reported to be in a serious condition and is undergoing treatment at the Godhra Civil Hospital. According to Panchamahals forest officials, Vijesinh’s nose was ripped out by the leopard when he was working in his field late on Tuesday afternoon. Also, two more persons in Chitripura village were injured by the animal on the same day. A day ago, an eight-year old boy was attacked by a leopard in the nearby Gokulpura village.

MN Patel, Range Forest Officer (RFO), Shehra taluka, said that the first incident occurred on Monday evening when Jitendrakumar Talar (8) from Gokulpura, who was playing with his friends in a field, was attacked by a leopard. ‘‘There were many rocks in the field and leopards are generally found taking shelter behind them, which the children did not know ,’’ said Patel. The animal is believed to have escaped after the children raised a din. Jitendra was injured on his head and was taken to the nearby Public Health Centre (PHC) for treatment.

On the following day, three persons in Chitripura village were injured in leopard attacks within an hour’s time.

The victims were Hemlata Patel, who was working in her field, a boy who was flying a kite, and Vijesinh.

Panchmahals forest officials believe it could be a single leopard which was behind these attacks and have set up a trap—a cage with a goat to entice the animal. Also, seven to eight forest officials are keeping guard, trying to track down the animal.

http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=215000

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