Dehradun : A leopard was shot dead by a team of three shooters on Monday in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. The leopard, declared a maneater, was killed two days after it snatched away a toddler from Sillah-Bahman village. This was the seventh big cat to be shot dead in Uttarakhand this year. Meanwhile, search for the toddler continues in the forest.
The leopard, an eight-year-old female, had dragged a one-and-half-year-old girl away when she was playing in her house’s front yard. The incident had taken place on July 25. A team of forest officers had search the area but couldn’t find the baby. Following this, a team of shooters was deployed, which eventually killed the leopard.
Speaking to TOI, shooter Joy Hukil said the leopard was shot dead when it attacked a forest ranger during rescue efforts. The leopard was the 42nd prey of the shooter. The big cat’s killing, however, did not bring closure to the toddler’s family as her body remains missing.
“Usually, we find blood-stained clothes of the victim or other such evidence, but in this case we haven’t found anything so far,” Rajneesh Lohani, range officer of North Jakholi range (Rudraprayag forest division), was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, another man who was attacked by a leopard in Dakuda ghat village in Pithoragarh district, died on Monday.
This year, as many as 19 people have been killed in leopard attacks in Uttarakhand so far. Five of the victims were attacked in the last 10 days alone. Meanwhile the search for a leopard that attacked a 10-year-old boy in Pithoragarh’s Pali village in Gangolihaat last week also continues.