A leopard trapped by the forest department after a woman was burned alive by villagers

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Deaths in leopard attacks account for half of all deaths attributed to wildlife in Uttarakhand

DEHRADUN: A leopard captured in a cage guarded by forest officers after a woman was killed on May 15 was burned alive on Tuesday by angry villagers in Pauri district, Uttarakhand.

Nityanand Pandey, conservator of forests in Garhwal region, said local forestry officials placed a cage in the area after a leopard killed a woman in Saplodi village in Pauri.

“On Tuesday morning, the forest officers learned that a leopard had been captured in the cage. But by the time they got there, the angry villagers had already burned the caged leopard alive,” he said. The leopard’s charred remains were sent for an autopsy.

Pandey said a first information report (FIR) will be filed against the villagers after the autopsy report is received.

This is the second such incident in the district in nearly a decade. In March 2011, angry villagers poured kerosene over a leopard captured by forest officers for attacking 10 people.

In June 2018, villagers also set fire to a forest area in Bageshwar district after a 7-year-old boy was killed by a leopard.

Human deaths in leopard attacks account for nearly half of total wildlife deaths in the state, according to data from the state Forestry Department. More than 400 people have been killed in leopard attacks in the state since 2000.

In July last year, the Uttarakhand Forest Department issued instructions to check and manage human-leopard conflict in the state. These included the deployment of rapid response teams to areas where leopard movements and attacks are reported. The instructions also ask officials to guide villagers on how to protect themselves from leopard attacks.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    He is a senior correspondent based in Bhopal. It covers environment and wildlife, state administration, BJP and other saffron organizations. He has a particular interest in stories based on social issues.
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