Leopard kills man, eats parts of his body in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary

In one of the rare cases, a man-eating leopard killed a 65-year-old man and consumed parts of his body at the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) on Thursday.

Published: 25th September 2022 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2022 06:22 AM   |  A+A-

A forest department staffer prepares a cage to trap the leopard in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary | Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  In one of the rare cases, a man-eating leopard killed a 65-year-old man and consumed parts of his body at the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) on Thursday. Forest Department officials have now put up four cages and installed 80 camera traps to trace and catch the man-eater which has vanished into the wild. Despite efforts by forest officials to stop locals from entering the forest and grazing their cattle, incidents of animals being killed by leopards have been reported. This is the first time that an incident of a leopard killing and eating a man has been reported in the state, forest department officials told The New Sunday Express.

The victim, Govindaiah, entered the Hannur range of the sanctuary with his cattle on Thursday. When he did not return till Friday morning, villagers approached the forest department. During the search, the forest patrolling staff found Govindaiah’s body, with his left leg and neck eaten by the leopard. The animal had also consumed some portions of the cattle after killing them. When the forest staff came to the spot, the leopard was still near Govindaiah’s body and carcasses of the cattle. It immediately  vanished into the thicket.

“We don’t know what made the leopard eat the man’s flesh. Incidents of leopards attacking humans is not new, but eating human flesh is. We are now working towards making entry into the forest more stringent. But there have been incidents in the past, where locals supported by politicians have staged protests and attacked forest staffers. Cages were kept on Saturday at entry and exit points of the area where the incident occurred. Camera traps have been installed all around. Once the leopard is identified, it will be captured,” Deputy Conservator of Forests, CWS, Nandeesh L, said.

Forest department may give compensation

Officials said as villagers don’t have gomala lands and deemed forests to graze their cattle, incidents of trespassing are increasing. The forest department is considering giving compensation to the kin of the deceased, even though he entered the forest illegally.

The Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries spread across 1.20 lakh hectares. The forest patch has over 200 leopards and 20 tigers. There are 38 villages inside the sanctuary and another 80 on the fringes. The forest is also frequented by touri­sts who visit Mekedatu, San­gam, Galibore and Bheeme­shwari Jungle Lodges and Resorts, and some waterfalls.



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