Forest staff search for three leopard cubs

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 20

It is only the forensic laboratory report that can confirm whether the leopardess caught yesterday was the one that had killed two children, but wildlife wing officials are claiming that in all likelihood, it was this female animal that had been on the prowl for the past few days.

An adult leopardess was caught yesterday, which had been roaming in forests with her three cubs. Her images had been caught in trap cameras installed in the area. Forest officials said that as the three cubs were barely six months old, they would not be in a position to hunt their food. Hence, they also need to be caught so as to be fed properly. Hence, the field staff have started looking for the three cubs.

The forest officials said that the leopardess had been sent to the Rescue Centre at Tutikandi and the samples of the animal's hair found in the remains of the killed children and on their clothes would be matched to confirm whether she was the man-eater. Only the forensic report could confirm whether this leopardess was the man-eater, they added.

Meanwhile, the news of the leopardess being caught has brought relief to local people, who had stopped to go out after the sunset. It is almost after a fortnight that the wildlife officials managed to trap the leopardess.

On August 6, the five-year-old daughter of a labourer was reportedly killed by a leopard in the Kanlog area. Her remains were found in a nullah in the forest, close to their hutment. Again on Diwali night, a five-year-old boy was mauled to death in the Downdale locality.

The frequent sighting of leopards in the state and attacks on humans have instilled fear in the minds of people that the number of wild cats has increased. The wildlife wing of the Forest Department is planning to undertake a population estimation of leopards shortly.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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