Man-eating leopards in Uttarakhand

Over the past 15 days there have been attacks on humans by wild animals in the Tehri area of Uttarakhand, and two incidents involved children being supported by the Serve and share Association which runs the SASA Academy – one of the schools we support.

The first incident involved one of the brothers of a sponsored child. As he went outside in order to go upstairs, a leopard attacked him. It held onto his thigh and was pulling him away, but the boy was fortunate enough to able to cling onto the solar panel rod outside his house. He shouted and people came out to rescue him.

The second child, a 3 year old girl, was not so fortunate. She was sitting and eating in the ground floor room in front of the open door when a leopard just walked in and pulled the girl away in full view of the mother and vanished into the night. The body was found next day half eaten.

On 27th Jan one of the SASA teachers was attacked by a wild boar while walking home. She was rushed to hospital and had 9 stitches in her arm and thigh.

The Forest Depertment managed to shoot a leopard, but it is not certain that this was the cuplrit.

All this reminds me of Briton called Jim Corbett who spent the inter-war years responding to requests from villagers to help them eliminate man-eating leopards and tigers. Whatever we might think nowadays of the rights or wrongs of killing wild animals, the villagers were very grateful to him and a national park which protects these wild animals has been established in his name. My wife and I have read his books and last year visited a museum dedicated to him. We even went on a safari in the park, and although we saw tiger pug marks, we were not lucky enough to see the elusive creatures.

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Jill PeckVidya Sagar Gyanpeeth School