Forest officers seek go-ahead to kill maneater leopard
New Delhi, Wednesday 2nd November 2011

With the elusive maneater leopard striking again on Saturday, killing a 65-year-old man right in the courtyard of his home in Chafapur village of Wardha district, the Chief Conservator of Forest (Nagpur) on Sunday sought permission to shoot the animal dead.

CCF C R Gajbhiye wrote to Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) S K Khetarpal seeking permission to kill the leopard, which is believed to have killed four people and injured three in a series of attacks happening over a stretch of a few kilometers in the Chandrapur-Wardha border areas.

The series of attacks started at Bembla-Rith village in Chimur range of Chandrapur district on October 20. The entire Forest Department staff from Brahmapuri, Wardha and Chandrapur divisions, including Gajbhiye himself, has converged on the troubled area to prevent the unprecedented conflict from escalating further. Six cages have been put in the triangular area sandwitched by the three divisions and State Reserve Police squads have been summoned to prevent the situation from taking an ugly turn, especially with villagers reacting angrily to the Forest Department’s “failure” to capture the animal. Three tranquilising squads have been kept in readiness to do the needful.

On Saturday, the leopard killed Sadashiv Warghate, 65, from Chafapur village in Girad tahsil of Wardha when he was sitting near a bonfire in the courtyard of his house. Neighbours raised an alarm as the animal was dragging the body away, prompting it to abandon the body and vanish into the nearby fields.