In late-night incident, big cat attacked girl even as mother watched

A seven-year-old girl was dragged away and eaten by a leopard near a hillock at Mulund here late Sunday night, the police said. Only the severed head of Sanjana Dnyaneshwar Thorat, who had gone out with her mother to answer nature’s call, could be recovered on Monday morning, forest officials told The Hindu.

“There are slums in our forest area near Shankar tekdi at Mulund. On Sunday around 11.45 p.m, the leopard attacked Sanjana and dragged her away in the protected area as her mother watched,” an official of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park told The Hindu. The woman raised an alarm, after which the slum-dwellers tried to search for the girl. They also alerted the forest officials.

“We got a call around 0030 hours on Monday. One of our two rescue teams, which reached the spot around 2 a.m. saw the leopard, but not the girl. Then, as it started raining, they couldn’t see anything. So the operation was called off temporarily,” the forest official said.

The search resumed early in the morning. “A team recovered the head of the girl around 10 a.m,” he said.

Shopkeeper killed

Staff Correspondent reports from Dehra Dun:

Following a similar incident in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district, residents of Chaubattakhal tehsil are up in arms seeking the elimination of a leopard that killed a shopkeeper at Tunkhal on Sunday morning.

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