Half-eaten body of man recovered from Rajaji reserve, 22nd big cat victim in 3 years
The body of 45-year-old Shahid, a daily wager from Bihar, was recovered late Thursday night, a fortnight after a man-eating leopard was shot dead in the same area — near Khandgaon village — in Dehradun district and another was trappedUpdated: Jul 27, 2018 22:08 IST
The forest officials have recovered the half-eaten body of a man from the Motichur range of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand, raising suspicion that more than one man-eater leopard is active in the area.
The body of 45-year-old Shahid, a daily wager from Bihar, was recovered late Thursday night, a fortnight after a man-eating leopard was shot dead in the same area — near Khandgaon village — in Dehradun district and another was trapped.
As per officials, Shahid is the 22nd victim of leopard attacks in Motichur range in the last three years.
The officials at the reserve were monitoring the CCTV footage when they noticed a man going towards Khandgaon, a village that falls in forested terrain and in the buffer zone of the reserve on Wednesday night. The forest personnel informed the ranger and other authorities about the matter after which a combing operation was launched at the site where the youth was last spotted.
The team spotted a mutilated dead body by the side of the forest motor road and by clothes and build identified him as the man in the CCTV footage. An identity card was found near the body. It identified the man as Shahid, son of Younis, a resident of Kishanganj in Bihar. The body has been kept in the Motichur mortuary, Vikas Rawat, Forest Range Officer, Motichur said. He said several daily wage workers are currently employed by a cable-laying firm and it was likely that Shahid may have been working there.
This is the 22nd victim of leopard attacks in the range in the last three years. On July 10, a man-eating leopard had killed a person at a village in Raiwala area near the range. The next day, a female leopard walking with a limp was shot dead. Forensic tests had later confirmed that it was a man-eater. The forest officials had claimed that it was the leopard that had killed the 56-year-old person at Prateet Nagar the previous day.
The FRO, however, cautioned that the recovery of Shahid’s body gives rise to suspicion that there might be other man-eating leopards in the area. Locals too fear the same.
Raiwala village head Rakhi Giri said that locals are living in fear as Raiwala area has remained most affected by the leopard menace for past several years.