Leopard snatches 3-year-old boy from kitchen and decapitates him in northern India
- Wasim Akram was in the kitchen with his mother when the animal sneaked inside, pounced on him and took him deep into the woods
The headless body of a three-year-old boy snatched from his home by a leopard in India was handed over to his parents on Tuesday.
Wasim Akram was in the kitchen with his mother when the animal sneaked inside, pounced on him and took him deep into the woods, wildlife officials said.
Local officials in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir have sought “elimination orders” from the state government.
The leopard in question is thought to have killed three people in the last two months, including an eight-year-old boy who was mauled to death in the area on December 7.
A team of wildlife officials equipped with tranquilliser guns have been scouring the area to spot the animal.
“The leopard was spotted this morning but we could not trap it,” said Jammu regional wildlife warden Tahir Ahmad Shawl.
Wildlife authorities have also issued advice for people in the area to stay safe from animal attacks.
“This is a forested area and humans have entered into their (animals’) habitat and not the other way round. Therefore these incidents happen,” Shawl said.
Official estimates suggest there are between 12,000 and 14,000 leopards in India. An estimated 431 leopards were killed in 2017, according to government figures. Most were killed by poachers for their hides and body parts.
Urban expansion has reduced their numbers as forest habitats shrink, bringing them into closer contact – and conflict – with humans.
There are no figures on the number of humans killed by leopards, but experts say there are hundreds of deaths each year.
Last week a Buddhist monk was killed by a leopard while meditating in a forest in the western state of Maharashtra, the fifth such attack in the area this month.