A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy was allegedly killed after being attacked by a leopard near Chhadvavadar village of Dhoraji taluka in the wee hours of Friday. This is second such incident in Dhoraji taluka in less than three months. Patanvav police said that the incident took place at around 12:10 am on Friday when the leopard struck on huts on seven labourer families camping on Chhadvavadar village. The big cat attacked five-year-old Rohan Taili while he and his family were asleep in their hut. The carnivore dragged the boy in nearby bushes.
“Hearing Rohan’s cries, his parents and other labourers tried to scare away the animal. But they did not have torches and therefore could not chase the leopard. Forest officers and residents of Chhadvavadar also reached the spot some time later but they too could not locate the leopard. Eventually, the partially-eaten body of the boy was recovered at around 9 am from bushes around half-a-kilometre away form the hut,” Patanavav assistant sub-inspector Vishnuprasad Hariyani said.
Rohan was son of Anil Taili, a migrant agricultural labourer from Maharashtra, police said. Police said that Rohan was sleeping between his two sisters—one of them seven year old and the other a five month old—when the predator struck. This is second incident of a leopard attacking and killing a human being in Dhoraji taluka in last three months. On April 13, five-year-old Rahul Ganava, a son of migrant labourers from Madhya Pradesh was allegedly killed by a leopard in Supedi village of Dhoraji. The twin incidents happened around four kilometres apart, say police.
Jagdish Jakasania, in-charge range forest officer (RFO) of Dhoraji confirmed the boy was killed in a leopard attack. “The victim’s parents claim they saw a leopard dragging away their son. Pug-marks also confirmed presence of a leopard in the area. We have placed three trap-cages in the area to rescue the leopard,” Jakasania told The Indian Express.
Chhadvavadar is around 18 kilometres away form Patanvav reserve forest which has been recording presence of leopards for the last few years. “We have rescued five leopards from Dhoraji and nearby areas in the last seven months. We had placed trap cages after the attack in Supedi village also but our efforts to catch the leopard attack had remained unsuccessful,” Jakasania added.