Four injured in leopard attack in Balasore

Assistant conservator of forests Diganta Sovan Chand said the leopard might have strayed out on Friday night either from Hadgarh or Kuldiha sanctuaries located near the village.
People gathered after spotting the leopard in the village
People gathered after spotting the leopard in the village

BALASORE: Panic gripped residents of Nayakhandi panchayat in Balasore district after four persons including a woman were wounded by a leopard on Saturday. The wild animal apparently sneaked into the human settlement from the nearby forest.

The injured were rushed to Khaira community health centre and later the 50-year-old woman, Satyabhama Naik was shifted to Bhadrak district headquarters hospital after her condition deteriorated.

Sources said a child from the Gada village first spotted the leopard. He presumed it to be a dog but screamed as the big cat emerged from the bush. Hearing the child’s scream, villagers reached the spot.

After seeing the crowd, the leopard tried to escape but injured four persons when it encountered them on its way to neighbouring Sarikhia village. Villagers informed the forest personnel of Kupari beat under Soro range.

Assistant conservator of forests Diganta Sovan Chand said the leopard might have strayed out on Friday night either from Hadgarh or Kuldiha sanctuaries located near the village. “The restless leopard is taking rest at a villager’s house and the department has asked the people not to venture out to avoid any untoward situation,” he said.

Field director of the Similipal Tiger Reserve Prakash Chand Gogineni said forest personnel and tiger rescue team were on their way to the village with necessary equipment to tranquilise and capture the leopard.

Locals said the incident occurred due to rampant illegal blasting and stone mining in Sarisua forest adjacent to Similipal, Kuldiha and Hadgarh sanctuaries. The sound of blasting, movement of stone-laden vehicles and scarcity of food caused leopard to stray out to human settlement as the habitat is no more safe.

Despite raising the issue before the Forest department, district administration and Mines department, no action has been taken so far, villagers alleged.

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