A seven-month-old child was allegedly attacked and killed by a leopard in Bela village of Junagadh district late on Saturday night while his parents were about to go to sleep. This is second attack by a wild animal on children in as many days in Saurashtra. Bilkha police in Junagadh said that the incident took place at around 9 pm on Saturday when Vipul Saroliya, an agricultural labourer and his family were about to retire to bed in their hut on the farm they were working on in Bela village.
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“All of a sudden, a leopard jumped in the hut from an opening. The family ran helter and skelter and cried for help but the leopard dragged away Saroliya’s seven-month-old son Shiva,” Bilkha police sub-inspector Somat Gojiya said. People from neighbouring farms gathered and tried to track the leopard but in vein.
“With the help of a torch, they could once see the leopard with the child in its jaws. Trekkers of forest department spotted blood stains over a stretch of around one-and-half-kilometre but could not locate the big cat throughout night. In the morning, remains of the child were found from near a temple in the village,” Gojiya further said.
The PSI said that the farm was located near Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to carnivores like leopards and endangered Asiatic lions. “The forest department has placed four cages in the village to trap the leopard which attacked the child. But the carnivore has so far not taken the bait,” Gojiya added.
Incidentally, a minor boy was injured after he was allegedly attacked by a lioness on a agricultural farm in Bamran village of Khambha taluka in Amreli district on Saturday. However, the boy had survived the attack.