Man-eater leopard claims fourthvictim, a girl in Chhindwara area

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Feb 2018 10:35:56

Staff Reporter

A man-eater leopard attacked and preyed upon a child in village Khulsan of Chhindi forest range of Tamia block, on Wednesday morning. The leopard grabbed the 10-year-old girl, who was standing at the gate of her house. Before any one could comprehend the matter, the feline had already covered quite a distance. The family gave chase, armed with sharp-edged weapons but unfortunately, it was too late by then.

Except the head, the wild beast had consumed the rest of the body. On being informed, the forest staff sprang into action. It was disclosed that Poonam Sallam (10), daughter of Mem Das Sallam, was playing in the front yard of her home. The yard was not fenced. She had stepped out near the gate to pick up her ball when the leopard seized the opportunity and assaulted her. This was the second incident of a wild animal, a feline, lifting a child from the house.

On the evening of January 7, another boy Haresh (10), son of Mohmali Mata, who was also standing just outside his house, was taken away and eaten by the marauding leopard. Infuriated villagers demanded that the Forest Department locate the man-eater and kill it before anymore children became victims. What is even more surprising is the fact that after four consecutive victims in Tamia block, the forest staff failed at confirming for sure the exact identity of the wild animal that had turned man-eater.

More than a month is down the line after fatal feline attacks began, but the identity of the wild beast remains iffy. Armed with 50 cameras and an expert team, Forest Department combed and searched the jungles of Tamia but could not even locate the pugmarks of the man-eater leopard, if indeed, it really was a leopard. Exactly a month after killing little Haresh, it hit again and took away its fourth victim.

After lifting the child from the gate, it took the little girl to a field close by and ate away the entire body. The search by the family and villagers revealed only the head. It was reportedly a gruesome sight for the shocked parents and equally stunned villagers to see merely the head of the child rolling on the ground. The extent of their sorrow could not be quantified.