A 55-year-old woman was mauled to death by a leopard at Gadboli village in Sindewahi tahsil of Maharashtra’s Chandrapur in the early hours of Friday.
Four days ago, a leopard had killed a nine-month-old child from the village. On Wednesday night, the Forest Department had managed to cage a leopard but there was at least one more leopard near the village.
“The victim, Gayabai Hatkar, was sleeping in her hut when the leopard entered and dragged her into the forest,” Chief Conservator of Forest, Chandrapur, Rama Rao said.
The woman lived alone with all three daughters being married. Her house doesn’t have a door.
According to reports, the woman and her relatives in the neighbourhood were sleeping in the courtyard due to extremely hot weather prevailing in the district, Brahmapuri in particular, where 48.1 degrees Celsius temperature was registered on Thursday. “They all, however, went inside as stormy winds started blowing in the morning,” said a wildlife activist, who visited the village after the incident.
The incident has led to protest against the Forest Department. Brahmapuri Congress MLA Vijay Wadettiwar and social activist Paromita Goswami visited the village.
Wadettiwar refused to allow the body to be removed for cremation saying he will allow it only after officials from Nagpur visit the village. Some activists, who visited the place said, “The body was rotting under the scorching sun but Wadettiwar was unmoved.”
Wadettiwar didn’t respond to calls and text message.
Rao said, “We have kept a team of ten persons to guard the village. But after capturing the female leopard, the male was still around. He had managed to avoid the trap.”
“The village is situated just about five metres away from the dense bamboo forest. So, the leopard can easily enter it without getting noticed,” he added.
With today’s death, the tally of victims of wildlife attacks in Chandrapur district has gone up to 12, eight of them in Brahmapuri forest division.