Days after it was caged for allegedly attacking human beings, a male leopard died at a facility in Sasan Tuesday. This is the second death in a week of a carnivorous animal suspected of attacking humans.
“The animal had been rescued from Kutiya round in Visavadar range of Gir (west) on the suspicion that it had attacked a human in that area. It was kept under observation at Sasan, but it died Tuesday of old age,” Dushyant Vasavada, chief conservator of forests of Junagadh wildlife circle, told The Indian Express.
Vasavda said no evidence had been found of the animal attacking human beings in its scat analysis. “If the animal eats a human after killing him, chances are the victim’s hair is found in the carnivore’s excreta. Nothing such was found in the case of this leopard. But we were still treating it as a suspected case since it was captured from the area from where man-animal conflict was reported,” Vasavada said.
The forest department had launched an extensive operation early this month and caged 11 leopards by November 18. These leopards, forest officers said, were suspected of having killed eight people in Visavadar and Dhari ranges of Gir forest and Bagasar range of Amreli social forestry division in the past seven months.
Most of the captured leopards were kept under observation at Sasan, the headquarters of Gir National Park and Sanctuary.
On November 20, a lioness suspected to have attacked a cattle herder near Dodhi in Hadala range of Gir (east) three days ago was found dead in the adjoining Jasadhar range. Forest officers said the lioness was 9 to 12 years old, and ruled out foul play behind the death.