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Man-eater leopard who killed four children range in MP, captured

The man-eater leopard who had killed four children within a range of 25 kms within over last two months in the forests of Chhindwara district , nearly 274 kms kilometres south-east of Bhopal, was captured on Friday, said forest officials.

bhopal Updated: Mar 17, 2018 16:15 IST
Neeraj Santsohi
Neeraj Santsohi
Hindustan Times , Bhopal
( Source: MP forest department )

The man-eater leopard who had killed four children within a range of 25 kms within over last two months in the forests of Chhindwara district , nearly 274 kms kilometres south-east of Bhopal, was captured on Friday, said forest officials.

Anadiy Budholia, sub-divisional officer (SDO) Chhindwara (west) said the five-year-old leopard that killed three children in Chhindi range in January and one child in February in Parasia range had finally been captured by the forest department through trap-cage.

“We were searching for the man-eater leopard for last over two months in and around Parasia and Chhindi range area. Nearly 200 officials of the forest department were involved in the search operation. We had also called wildlife experts from Kanha, Pench and Satpura tiger reserves”, he said.

Budholia said the captured leopard will be shifted to the Satpura Tiger Reserve. “We are shifting it there with the permission of the chief wildlife warden he said.

The young male leopard had created terror in Chhindi and Parasia range area of Chhindwara, where it was attacking children. On January 7, the leopard killed two children in a day-one three-year-old-girl Kalpana and ten-year-old Harshit. Later in the same month another 12-year-old Prem was killed by it. In February, the leopard killed one 10-year old Poonam Sallam from a village in Parasia forest range. Sallam was playing outside when the leopard attacked.

This is not the first such incident in which children have been attacked by wild animals in MP. In April 2016, in Sehore district’s Budhni tehsil, a leopard attacked four-year-old Ritika and tried to drag it towards forest area while holding her head in its mouth. Villagers chased the leopard and rescued the girl. In April 2016 pigs mauled two sleeping children in Hoshangabad district, killing five-month old baby girl and injuring her two-year-old sister.

According to state forest department nearly 20 to 30 people are killed and nearly a 1000 to 1500 are injured by wild animals every year in MP.

Shrinking and fragmentation of leopard habitat and growing human population have increase leopard-man conflict. According to wildlife experts, among the four ‘big cats’, leopards (Panthera pardus) tolerate proximity to humans better than lions and tigers. But they come into conflict with humans when raiding livestock, especially during periods of drought or when the leopard’s natural prey becomes scarce.