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Man-eating leopard killed in Bageshwar

A man-eater becoming active in remote part of the Uttarakhand is a relatively common thing. But a leopard becoming active in a market place is something unusual.

Statesman News Service | Dehradun |

A man-eater becoming active in remote part of the Uttarakhand is a relatively common thing. But a leopard becoming active in a market place is something unusual.

People in the congested market and residential area of Bageshwar are struck by leopard fear these days even after one man-eating leopard was killed by an experienced shooter.

On Friday evening, Lakhapat Singh Rawat, a renowned shooter, killed a male man-eating leopard near Bageshwar town. The man-eater had killed a six-year girl on 14 September in neighbouring Nadigoan.

Following the incident, the Uttarakhand forest department was forced to declare the big cat a man-eater and issued a warrant. Rawat was roped in for the special assignment.

The forest department tried to capture the leopard alive by fixing cages in different location. Regular sightings of the feline were reported from different parts of Bageshwar but the attempts to catch it failed. It was then decided to shoot the man-eater down.

Rawat said, “The assignment was challenging as the leopard was moving in the habitat area and in streets and public roads. Forest department staff and I were on an open jeep. We were successful in gunning down the male man-eater half a kilometre away from the main market at Adoli locality.”

But about half a dozen leopards are active in the market area in Bageshwar. Very recently a leopard with one of her cubs was captured in the CCTV camera of a hotel. Pug-marks of leopards have recently been found in many places in Bageshwar city indicating presence of many other felines.

Bageshwar’s divisional forest officer RK Singh said, “The man-eater that was killed was old. With damaged teeth and nails, the leopard was unable to hunt and was looking for easy prey. We will continue to alert the public to maintain vigil.”

With this hunt, shooter Lakhapat Singh Rawat has so far killed 52 man-eaters, including 50 leopards and two tigers.