2-year-old city girl’s body found after leopard attack
Usha Yadav became the third victim of a leopard attack in a fortnight when her half-eaten body was discovered at Bhandup on Sunday morning.mumbai Updated: Nov 19, 2012 00:51 IST
Usha Yadav became the third victim of a leopard attack in a fortnight when her half-eaten body was discovered at Bhandup on Sunday morning.
The two-year-old was relieving herself on Saturday night near her home at Tembhipada in Bhandup (west), which is on the periphery of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park that is home to 23 leopards.
At 11pm on Saturday night, Usha’s mother Sapna had taken her to relieve herself. When Sapna went back for her, she could not find her.
She raised an alarm and began looking for her along with the neighbours, but was unsuccessful. The Bhandup police was called in, who then informed the national park officials.
A team of forest officials including a veterinary doctor and rescue team searched the area.
“The body was found inside the security guards’ training centre at the Bhandup water purification plant complex. It was badly disfigured. Leopards are often spotted in this area, ,” said Avinash Bombe, forester, Mumbai range, adding that the body has been sent to Rajawadi hospital in Ghatkopar for a postmortem.
Of the four leopard attack victims in the past five months, three were female who were attacked when they were relieving themselves on the periphery of the national park in the dark.
Adivasis living in hamlets around the park have been complaining about the lack of sanitation facilities, which exposes them to leopard attacks. “Leopards often mistake crouching humans as prey and attacks them, making it dangerous for people,” said a forest official.
Man-animal conflict is a growing concern in the city, which has one of the largest urban forests in the world. The 102 square-km park is encro-ached on all sides with slums and tribal dwelling along its periphery.
The previous two leopard attacks were on November 5 at Bhandup and November 2 at Aarey Milk Colony.