Meerut to Bengaluru: 8 times leopards caused panic in last 5 months
Instances of the spotted big cat being seen on the outskirts of cities, especially those bordering forest reserves, and villages near buffer zones have become familiar news.Updated: Feb 08, 2016, 18:15 IST
The incident in Bengaluru of a leopard straying into a school is scary but not surprising. Instances of the spotted big cat being seen on the outskirts of cities, especially those bordering forest reserves, and villages near buffer zones have become familiar -- a sign that is indicative of shrinking natural habitats and the threat it poses to both the animals and human settlements.
In just the last few months, there have been more than half a dozen times leopards have attacked people, or have been threatened by humans. The matter is more significant considering the cat is an endangered species whose numbers need to be protected, a task made tougher by the growing man-animal conflict.
Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
A leopard kept officials and locals on tenterhooks for two days as it dashed through city. Spotted first at a timber shop, the animal was later trapped in a room inside a cantonment hospital, but escaped wildlife experts by breaking through the window. The next day, it was seen at a commercial complex in an upscale market. Schools and colleges remained closed for a day. A few people who had gotten up close with the animal suffered injuries as it lashed out.
Pauri district, Uttarakhand
A seven-year-old boy was killed by a leopard when he went out looking for his missing cow with his mother. Angry villagers demanded that the beast be declared a man-eater.
Pahadi Bujurg village, Madhya Pradesh
A villager, who had gone to defecate in the open, was mauled by a leopard. The local forest officials and the police managed to catch the animal.
Badamalehra forest, Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh
A five-year-old leopard died after sustaining injuries from being caught in a trap, believed to have been set by villagers. Forest officials had tranquillized the animal and rescued it, but were later accused of sedating the leopard with too strong a dose, leading to its death.
Pauri district, Uttarakhand
In the space of a week, two leopard kills occurred, including that of a seven-year-old girl who was walking back to her village. The child was snatched by the animal in spite of being accompanied by her father and grand mother.
Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra
A female leopard that had strayed into a village, needed to be rescued from two wells. The animal, that was initially stuck in a 30-foot-well, managed to leap away from rescuers after being pulled out, only to fall into a 50-foot well. She was ultimately rescued and taken to a hospital before being released back into its natural habitat.
Thane district, Maharashtra
A young child was dragged away from inside her hut by a leopard in Kasara, Thane district. The three-year-old girl was mauled to death by the animal.
This leopard made front page headlines when images of its head stuck in a brass pot went viral. The wild animal struggled for upto five hours before forest officials managed to rescue it.