J’khand may issue shoot-at-sight order against ‘man-eater’ leopard

The last killing was reported from Kushwaha village where a 12-year-old boy was killed by the animal on December 28 in the same district
Representative Image
Representative ImageANI

RANCHI: Jharkhand forest department is mulling issuing a shoot-at-sight order against a 'man-eater' leopard, as attempts to tranquilize or cage the animal have been unsuccessful, an official said on Thursday.

Hyderabad based celebrated hunter Nawab Safath Ali Khan, has been called in to tackle the leopard which has killed four children, all between six and 12 years, in Jharkhand's Palamu division including three in Garhwa and one in Latehar districts since December.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Sasikar Samanta told PTI, "I have received the monitoring committee's recommendation seeking shoot-at-sight order against the leopard. However, no decision has been taken yet on this. We are seeking advice from more experts." 

Samanta, who is also the state chief wildlife warden, said that the decision regarding the order will be taken in a day or two. In a bid to capture the leopard, 64-year-old man-animal conflict expert Khan has been camping in Jharkhand's Garhwa district since January 5 where three children were allegedly killed by the animal. 

Khan said the location of the leopard, which could not be tracked by over 50 trap cameras and one drone till January 4, has been found and it was sighted on January 5 and January 10. "The leopard killed a pig, which was kept outside a cage, early Thursday morning at Tirtedi village of Garhwa. But, it did not eat the pig.

The animal also did not enter the cage. Pugmarks and scats have also been found," Khan told PTI. A wildlife adviser to nine states, including Jharkhand, Khan said, "Leopards generally sleep in the daytime in deep shaded areas of a forest and venture out for hunting at night.

So, finding the leopard in daytime is tough, even though we have identified its sleeping location." The leopard has spread terror in more than 50 villages in three blocks — Ramkanda, Ranka and Bhandariya — of the district. Villagers have been asked by the forest department not to venture out after sunset.

In December 10, the leopard reportedly made its first attack by killing a 12-year-old girl in Chipadohar area in the nearby Barwadih block of Latehar district.

The last killing was reported from Kushwaha village where a 12-year-old boy was killed by the animal on December 28 in the same district.

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