6-year-old boy mauled to death by leopard in Assam
Guwahati, Aug. 22 (IANS): A six-year-old boy was mauled to death by a leopard in Maligaon, on the outskirts of Assam’s main city of Guwahati, sources and local people said on Saturday.
“The leopard dragged Shivam Kumar by grabbing his neck when the child was playing with his friends outside his home at Adingiri (in Maligaon) on Friday. The leopard let the boy go and disappeared in the hills after the people chased the animal and raised a hue and cry.” eyewitnesses told the media.
The child was immediately taken to a hospital, where the doctors declared him “brought dead”.
Forest officials refused to talk to the media about the incident.
Maligaon, headquarters of the North East Frontier Railways and a place prone to human-leopard conflicts, comes in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation area, which encircles several big hills and seven reserve forest areas.
Earlier also several people were injured after being attacked by leopards in Maligaon and the adjoining areas.
Wildlife activists said that the habitats of leopards and other wild animals have been shrinking over the decades due to encroachment by the people leading to man-animal conflict.
There have also been incidents in the recent past when angry mobs killed leopards and other wild animals.
Wildlife activist Mubina Akhtar said that the hills are where the leopards live but people have been encroaching upon their habitats.
“There are seven reserve forest areas adjoining Guwahati city. The forest department has neither demarcated them properly nor has it put up any signs or notice boards, resulting in encroachment of forest land,” Akhtar told IANS over phone. She said : “Since 2010, men and wild animal conflicts are rising in Guwahati areas. However, authorities are doing nothing to stop such incidents.”