Leopard strays into village near Gurugram, killed

The feline ran amok for three hours in a village near Gurugram, injuring six people.

November 25, 2016 01:16 am | Updated 04:06 am IST - GURUGRAM

People beat to death a leopard that strayed into the Mandawar village on Thursday.

People beat to death a leopard that strayed into the Mandawar village on Thursday.

A leopard was clubbed to death by locals of Mandawar village, about 20 km from Gurugram, when the animal strayed into the village in search of food on Thursday morning.

The villagers attacked the feline with sticks and other weapons, but not before the leopard ran amok for three hours, spreading panic and injuring over half-a-dozen people.

The villagers alleged that the police and Forest Department personnel arrived late and were not well-equipped to catch the animal. The leopard was first spotted around 9 a.m. after it attacked a farmer returning from the fields.

A large number of locals armed with sticks and farming equipment chased the animal as it ran on the village streets for hours.

Spotted earlier

The leopard was finally cornered near the house of the village sarpanch around noon as it took refuge under a bed in the verandah.

“The village chowkidar had spotted the leopard about two weeks ago and informed me. Later, we heard that a cow and a goat in the neighbouring village were killed by the animal. It was spotted again on Thursday, and the police and the Forest Department informed,” said Dhan Singh, the sarpanch.

Mr. Singh alleged that the teams reached an hour later and did not have the equipment to catch the animal.

“They were carrying a net that was not big enough to catch an adult leopard. They did not have a tranquilliser gun either,” said Mr. Singh.

Protest against police

“The villagers wanted the Forest Department to catch the animal alive, but they brought the tranquilliser too late. One of the villagers caught the animal by the neck and the others beat it up with sticks,” said Kapil Khatana, another villager.

They then dragged the body through the main road and staged a protest against the police and the Forest Department.

Conservator of Forests (South Circle) M.D. Sinha said the department was short of logistics, including vehicles, and had only one tranquilliser gun for six districts.

“But that was no justification for killing the animal,” he added.

“Almost one-third of my department officials reached the spot soon after they got the information. The leopard was killed even after the tranquilliser gun reached the village. The locals actually prevented the animal from being tranquillised,” Mr. Sinha claimed.

Meanwhile, environmentalist Jitender Bhadana said both locals and the authorities were to be blamed for the incident.

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