The human-leopard conflict in Chandrapur is slipping out of the control of forest officials with one more woman being mauled to death by a leopard on Thursday near Kitali village in the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve buffer zone.
The incident occurred across the Irai river that separates Kitali village from Payali where the same leopard had killed a girl on Wednesday.
Gopikabai Kalsarpe,aged around 50 years,walked to her field ignoring a warning by forest staff who had asked her not to walk to the field alone. The staff even offered to drop her off at the field,but she refused,sources said. Kalsarpe had walked barely 100 metres from where the staff was standing when the leopard,believed to be the same animal that had attacked others in the area,pounced on her. The staff heard her shrieks and rushed to her aid. However,the animal continued to attack her and ran away after the officials hurled stones at it,sources said.
Kalsarpe was rushed to a hospital where she was declared brought dead.
The leopard was later found to be hiding inside a pipe near the village. A mob gathered around the pipe trying to catch the leopard,but it managed to escape. Villagers later staged a rasta roko and set the forest on fire,sources said. Efforts were on to control the fire till late afternoon,they said.
With Kalsarpes death,the toll in tiger,leopard and wild boar attacks this month has gone up to eight.