6 man-eating leopards killed in past 1 month
PNS - Dehradun/Rudraprayag
DEHRADUN - Monday, November 16, 2009
The Jakholi block of Rudrayprayag district has recently emerged as one of the shooting places for man-eating leopards. Six man--eating leopards, all females, were killed in the past one month, with five deaths in 20 days.
The sixth leopard felling to hunter's bullets was that of a 10-year-old man-eating female leopard, which was shot on Saturday night at Paunthi village of Jakholi block. Incidentally, forest officials claimed that nails and both canines of the dead beast were broken.
"This leopard had killed two persons and seriously injured a woman. Its last kill was a 16-year-old boy Vijendra Singh Rawat who was picked from his cow-shed on the night of November 9. Later, his half-eaten body was found by villagers, deep inside the forest. Earlier a women, was killed by the same female leopard in August while another was seriously injured in October." claimed Rudraprayag DFO Surinder Mehra.
"After Vijendra was killed, the leopard was immediately declared man-eater on November 10 and noted shooter Lakhpat Singh was deployed to gun down the beast," informed Mehra, claiming that the missing nails and canines of the leopard indicated that it was unable to hunt in wild. This forced the female beast to turn a man-eater leading to victimisation of three persons.
Paunthi and Medanpur village of Jakholi block have witnessed the second man-eater gunned down in ten days.
It had also killed two women. Besides this, one more leopard was found dead close to these villages barely a week ago. Sources informed that this leopard was poisoned by the villagers.
Incidentally, all big cats that died at Jakholi block were females and foresters, speculatively, claimed that nails and canines of all three broken. In other words, foresters have tried to make a case that all died leopards here were genuine man-eaters and deserved killing. Interestingly, corpus of not a single dead leopard was shown to the media by the forest officials claiming that deaths occurred inside forest.
Seven leopards including two newborn cubs have died across the State in the past one month. Newborn cubs were abandoned by their mother fearing human interference as she had delivered in the open, close to the village Paunthi. Another leopard died of being smashed by a Dehradun-bound train on Thursday early morning at Kanso Range of Rajaji National Park.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org