A security guard was killed by a leopard in Bhandup on Thursday morning, making it the sixth such death in the city so far this year. It is the highest number of leopard-attack deaths the city has witnessed in the last six years. There were five casualties in 2006.
Thursday’s victim, Alexander VK Fernandes, 55, was a private security guard at the Bhandup water complex in Bhadup (W). Fernandes’ body was found under a water pipeline in thick bushes about 75 metres away from the post, where he would sit.
The partially eaten body was found at 8.30am by two BMC-employed security guards, who followed a trail of blood from the post. According to forest officials, Frenandes bled to death owing to injuries to his neck.
The frequency at which the leopard attacks have happened this year is alarming as not a single such death was reported in suburban Mumbai between December 2007 and December 2011. This year, all six deaths have occurred in suburban areas adjacent to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. In November, Usha Yadav, 2, and Sanjana Thorat, 6, were also killed by a leopard in the same area where Thursday’s attack took place.