A 7-year-old boy was mauled to death by a leopard in Pauri district’s Sarkyana Valla village, said a forest official on Thursday.
The half-eaten body of the victim, identified as Sumit, was recovered from a fallow field outside the village, about 100m from the boy’s house, said Ramesh Chandra, Grahwal divisional forest officer.
The boy had accompanied his mother, Laxmi Devi, in search of their cow that had gone out to graze in the nearby fields on Tuesday evening, he said.
“The victim’s mother had sent him back home as it was getting cold and when she returned with the cow, she did not find her son at home and became worried.”
The boy’s father, Narendra Singh Rawat and other villagers went in search of him and found his blood-stained trousers and slippers under a tree, about 30 meters away from the house, but did not find the boy, said Chandra.
Forest officials along with villagers formed a search team and kept looking for the boy throughout the night, he said.
“The team found the victim’s body in the morning.”
Angry villagers did not allow forest officials to take the victim’s body for postmortem, demanding that the leopard be declared a man eater.
Chandra said the victim’s family was given `90,000 as an interim relief and the state chief wildlife warden has been asked to declare the leopard as a man eater.
“A trap is being set up in the village and scaffolding would also be erected to keep a watch on the animal,” he said.
Villagers said there are 13 families, most of them consisting of old people who live in houses that are scattered throughout the village and have become vulnerable to attacks by the leopard, which lurks around in the over-grown bushes.
Leopard killed in territorial fight
A 3-year-old female leopard was killed by the wild boar on Tuesday evening in Rajaji Tiger Reserve, said DP Uniyal, Haridwar forest range officer. “Our team was on routine patrol in Kharkhari beat of the reserve when they spotted a leopard and a wild boar fighting each other. By the time the team reached the spot, the leopard was dead. Its stomach was ripped open by the wild boar,” he said.
(With inputs from Haridwar)