A three-year-old girl has been killed by a Leopard in Tumkur District, Karnataka, in what is believed to have been the fourth fatal attack by the same animal since October 2019. The girl went missing from outside her home in the village of Baichanhalli at about 8.00 pm local time on Saturday 29 February 2020. Her body was found some hours later with bite marks to har face and arms. Residents of the area have been calling on the Indian Forest Service to capture and remove the animal for some time, and many are becoming increasingly angry about what they see as a lack of action on the matter, while officials from the Forest Service report having made considerable efforts to capture the Leopard, including setting a large number of traps, without any success, and cite a rising Human population in areas where Leopards were once unbothered by Human incursions as part of the problem.
A Leopard in the Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka State, India. Srikaanth Sekar/Flikr/Wikimedia Commons.
The Leopard is thought to have claimed its first victim on 17 October 2019, when Lakshmamma, 60, of Kuppe Village, was killed while grazing her Cattle. On 29 November 2019 shepherd Anandiah, 60 of Doddamaralavadi was killed, again while grazing livestock, while Samarth Gowda, 5, of Manikuppe was killed on 9 January 2020.
Leopards are considered to be Vulnerable under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, with the Indian subspecies, Panthera pardus fusca, considered to be particularly vulnerable due to India's rapidly rising Human population, which has resulted in agriculture and other Human activities expanding into many former wilderness areas. For this reason, the Indian Forest Service usually try to relocate Leopards that come into conflict with Humans to more remote areas, preferably within national parks, though the extent to which local people co-operate is variable.
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