Udaipur : A male leopard which strayed into a village some 40 kilometers away from Dungarpur district headquarters , died of injuries after people threw stones and beat him mercilessly with sticks. The beast attacked 10 persons during 8 hours of prowl and running here and there around the entire village as the forest department and police team failed to tranquilize the poor animal which ultimately fell prey to the mob fury. The forest and police officials failed miserably in convincing the people and save the dumb creature. In 2012 too, at Mathu Gamda village in Dungarpur, the villagers had stoned a pregnant leopard to death as she couldn’t run to save herself.
The incident took place at Pal Padar village under Bicchiwada police station on Wednesday morning. A 3-year old male leopard strayed into the village where few persons were lifting water from a community boring well. The beast attacked 3 people including a woman and then ran inside a secluded hut nearby. It stayed there for some 2-3 hours while the forest and police team were informed. The only shooter in the region, Satnam Singh and his team from Udaipur left for Dungarpur. Meanwhile the leopard came out of the hut and ran helter-skelter. It sometimes hid behind bushed, sometimes pounced on people who tried to frighten him away. Meanwhile, Shooter Satnam Singh tried to go near the animal to assess his age and weight before loading the dose in the tranquilizing gun. The animal pounced on the shooter too who sustained minor injuries.
The prowling and running sequence continued till 3 pm and during the eight hours the leopard had attacked 10 persons. Panic struck villagers gheraoed the animal, pelted stones at him till he fell down. Later they beat him with sticks until he died. The rescue team shifted the animal’s body to the district veterinary hospital and a medical board conducted the postmortem. “ We tried to convince the villagers but they were too furious and impatient to pay heed. The leopard had attacked ten persons and we couldn’t tranquilize the animal as it was constantly on move. A case will be registered under wild life act against all those who killed the animal” said Sharath Babu, DFO, Dungarpur.