A 19-year-old college student, who along with another classmate was on a hillock to get Internet connection to attend online classes at Khapatia village of Tapi district in South Gujarat, was attacked by a leopard on Wednesday.
Govind Gamit, a student of first year commerce in Government Arts and Commerce College at Songadh taluka, used to go to the hillock, a five-minute walk from his village, everyday to take classes.
On Wednesday, Govind and his friend Bhavin Gamit were listening to an online lecture when the leopard crept up. As the leopard caught hold of Govind’s left arm and clawed him on his legs, Bhavin ran to the village for help. When the villagers came out shouting, the leopard escaped in nearby bushes.
“I had seven stitches on my left hand. Bhavin and I were shocked at first when we saw leopard. While I told Bhavin to run to the village to inform others, I stood there facing the leopard thinking that if I also turn my back to it, it would jump on me and kill me. When the animal caught hold of my left hand, I struggled and somehow managed to relieve myself. I was bleeding profusely. The villagers came on time and I was saved,” Govind said.
He was discharged on Friday. “I am alright now. I have told the college authorities about the incident. We have decided that from next time when we have to go to the hillock for classes, we will go in groups of 10 and will arm ourselves with wooden sticks.”
Songadh taluka malang range forest officer Martina Gamit said, “We have laid two cages in the village to capture the leopard. Leopards are regularly sighted in Songadh taluka. Khapatia village is surrounded by dense forest which is favourable for leopards to hide.”
Village sarpanch Bhuljibhai Gamit said, “There is poor network coverage in our area which is why people go to nearby hillock to get network on their mobile. This is the first leopard attack in our village. Following the incident, we have created groups of 12 youths who go around the village at night. We have also told villagers not to go out alone.”
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