HYDERABAD: Hyderabad based renowned sharp-shooter, Nawab Shafath Ali Khan has been roped in by the Maharashtra forest department to kill a man-eater leopard which has killed seven people till now and injured six others in the Chalisgaon forest range, around 100 kilometers away from Aurangabad.
Speaking to Express on Thursday, Khan said, “We have been tracking the leopard for 26 hours. However, till now we have been unfortunate in bringing down the man-eater. Heads of the victims have been severed by the leopard, which is atypical leopard behaviour. I suspect that there might two leopards, may be a cub or a younger sibling, as at one point I saw small pug marks as well. Hopefully we will catch up with the leopard soon so that more deaths can be avoided.”
Pointing to a larger problem, Khan further said, “The leopard has been moving around the village where it killed the humans. There is no thick forest around here. This is a major problem in India. Leopard numbers are increasing and they are getting close to human habitations resulting in high number of such leopard-human conflicts. They are good at adapting to new habitations, are getting used to humans and learning to survive on prey like dogs or chickens. There is no proper leopard census conducted in the country to understand their population-spread.”
Earlier in August 2017, Khan had shot down a rogue elephant which had killed 11 people in Sahebganj district of Jharkhand and four people in neighbouring Bihar apart from wrecking havoc in many villages by destroying homes and fields of tribals.