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Suspected man eater leopard shot dead in Rajaji Tiger Reserve

Aged about 6-7 years, the leopard was shot dead at around 3.30 am when it was spotted walking with a limp near Khandgaon village where people displaced by the Tehri Dam reside

dehradun Updated: Jul 11, 2018 21:43 IST
Sandeep Rawat
Sandeep Rawat
Hindustan Times, Haridwar
Man eater,Leopard shot,Hunter
On close examination its right paw was found to be severed which made it walk with a limp.(HT Photo)

Forest officials on Wednesday shot dead a female leopard, suspected to be a man-eater, in Motichur range of Rajaji Tiger Reserve, a senior official said.

Aged about 6-7 years, the leopard was shot dead at around 3.30 am when it was spotted walking with a limp near Khandgaon village where people displaced by the Tehri Dam reside, RTR director Sanatan Sonkar said.

On close examination its right paw was found to be severed which made it walk with a limp, he said.

“The disability may also have been the reason why the big cat had become a man-eater instead of hunting in the forests for prey,” Sonkar said.

The RTR authorities have a strong suspicion that this leopard had claimed a number of victims in villages neighbouring the reserve.

The order to kill the suspected man-eater leopard was issued by the then wildlife warden DVS Khati through a letter dated May 21, 2018, which also authorised Dehradun resident Prashant Singh as the hunter for the purpose, Sonkar said.

Singh shot the leopard with the help of forest staff Farman Ali.

Notably, 20 people have been killed in the Motichur-Raiwala area by leopards in last few years. On Tuesday, the body of a 56-year old man was found near Pratit Nagar village in Motichur range. The shoulders and abdomen were found eaten by a leopard.

The same leopard is suspected to have killed a five-year-old girl in Raiwala’s Thakarpur village on June 14 dragging her away from the courtyard of her house.

Earlier in April, a tourist from Haryana, who had stepped out of the vehicle, was dragged into dense forest by a leopard.

Rajaji Tiger Reserve management is also creating awareness among locals to remain cautious while venturing out early in the mornings and evenings

First Published: Jul 11, 2018 21:43 IST