Uttarakhand Forest Department on Monday issued orders to kill the man-eating leopard which made two children its prey in two days in Pauri district. In the order issued in this regard by the state’s Chief Wildlife Warden Dr. Sameer Sinha, it has been said that in view of the danger to human life, especially children, permission is given to kill the leopard as a last option.
However, in this order issued to Divisional Forest Officer, Garhwal Forest Division, Pauri, Swapnil Anirudh, it has been asked to first make all efforts to cage or tranquilize the leopard. Earlier, Anirudh had sought permission to kill the leopard in view of the threat it posed to human life due to the leopard killing two children in the last two days and its continuous activities in the area. Ankit Singh (11), who was playing in front of the cowshed at home in Gwad village of Khirsu area of Pauri, was attacked by a leopard late on Saturday evening, due to which he died. In another incident on Sunday night, a leopard took away 4-year-old Ayaan Ansari from the courtyard of his house in Srinagar and did not leave him for a long time despite people making noise. The child died in this incident also. After these incidents, the forest department patrol team deployed in the area spotted the leopard at the spot around 2 am on Sunday midnight. The sound of his growling is also continuously heard in the area.
Forest officials believe that given the distance between the two incidents and the similar method of attack, there is a strong possibility that the same leopard is involved in both the incidents. Recently, many incidents of leopards entering densely populated areas and attacking have come to light. Recently in Dehradun too, incidents of leopards taking away two children from their homes were reported, after which Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had to instruct the forest officials to keep a strict vigil and curb such incidents.