Leopard killed days after being declared man-eater for killing Uttarakhand man
The leopard was spotted around 7pm on Monday about 50 metres from the spot where the man, Mohan Ram, was mauled to death
A leopard was shot dead days after it was declared a man-eater for killing a 58-year-old man in Uttarakhand’s Almora.
Rajeev Soloman, a shooter from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad who was roped in for killing the animal, said the leopard was spotted around 7pm on Monday about 50 metres from the spot where the man, Mohan Ram, was mauled to death.
“We fired on the leopard and eliminated it. The leopard was a female; 9 or 10 years old. It had lost upper canine teeth and had worn-out nails [paws].”
Soloman, who has been a shooter since 2006 and has killed a tiger and six man-eater leopards at the request of forest authorities, said the leopard came to Ram’s village in search of easy prey when it was killed.
Uttarakhand’s wildlife warden declared the leopard “man-eater” for its elimination days after it killed Ram on Tuesday last.
Ram was out to bring cattle from a forest when he was killed. Forest and revenue officers rushed to the scene as villagers protested and sought assurance on the elimination of the leopard in writing.
There were three incidents of leopard attacks within a week in the Kumaon region. A minor was killed on November 24. Last week, three people were injured. A cage was installed in the Mirai village to trap the leopard.
Leopards have been blamed for killing at least 400 people in Uttarakhand since 2000. At least two leopards have been burnt in Pauri since March 2011. In June 2018, angry villagers also set a forest on fire in Bageshwar after a leopard killed a seven-year-old boy.
Wildlife experts blame hilly terrain and overlapping habitats among the factors that make it difficult to check human-leopard conflict in the state. In some villages, villagers have been forced to have their children skip school to avoid attacks.