Dodging tigress, prowling leopard keep Uttarakhand’s Tanakpur villagers locked up
Even as a tigress has been evading capture after killing two women in Uttarakhand’s Tanakpur area, a leopard has been reported to be prowling in the region and is suspected to have killed a few animals.
According to Thawalkhera villagers, the leopard entered Nathu Singh Mahar’s cowshed earlier this week and killed a calf. Prior to that, it had killed two more animals in the vicinity.
Panicked villagers are locking themselves inside their houses after sunset as Thawalkhera village head, Satish Pandey asked forest officials to catch the leopard.
Forest officials, however, have been caught with a tigress that had killed two women of Boragoth and Kakrali Gate villages in the region. Despite installing cameras and laying a trap, they have been unable to capture it.
Two women’s effigies—because the tigress killed women—were put up with buffalo and goat meat inside an open cage to lure the tigress, but the animal has not come anywhere close.
On April 25, the tigress killed a woman named Radha Devi when she went inside the forests to fetch firewood. A month prior to this, the same tigress had reportedly killed another woman when she went into the forests for fodder.
The attacks, including the ones by the leopard, have caused panic among villagers. Forest officials have advised villagers to take preventive measures—including restrictions on going deep inside the forest for firewood and fodder and leaving their houses after sunset—to avoid conflicts with the animal.
Khyali Ram Arya, Ranger, Sharda forest range, said, “As of now, we are entirely focused on catching the tigress. It has already killed two and is likely to make another similar attempt.”