Leopard beaten to death with ‘sticks’ for killing nine sheep

Leopard beaten to death with ‘sticks’ for killing nine sheep

Two more leopards appear in same area

Shopian: A young leopard was killed by the locals of Oudur village, some 10 kilometers from district headquarters Shopian, after the animal entered a livestock shed and killed nine sheep on late Tuesday night.

Locals said that the sheep belonged to Ghulam Muhammad Mir, one of whose family members went to the shed to provide fodder to the sheep and cows when he found the sheep dead and the leopard trying to escape.

The family members informed the locals and together they killed the leopard with sticks, locals said.

A wildlife expert said that since there is no compensation scheme for livestock killed by wild animals, sometimes people kill the animal in anger or to take revenge. “There should be a compensation scheme for livestock as well, so that these majestic animals can be saved,” the expert said.

According to officials, for the past many years wild animals particularly leopards and bears have been coming to human habitations in winter as their habitations, mostly the Hirpora wildlife sanctuary, has been invaded and degraded both by people and the government.

A senior wildlife official said that a team has been sent to investigate the matter. “Most probably it looks that this leopard has been killed in retaliation,” he said.

Even after many recent incidents of wild animals being spotted in human habitations, there has been no advisory issued by the wildlife department on dealing with such situations.

After the young leopard’s killing, two more leopards appeared in Oudur village, apparently in search of the young leopard.

A local informed Kashmir Reader that at about 7pm, two leopards were spotted near the same livestock shed where the young leopard had mauled nine sheep during the night.

He said that after locals made a noise, both the leopards escaped from the spot.

Earlier in the day, a team of wildlife officials and the station house officer of police station Keegam visited the village and recorded statements of the locals regarding the incident. A case under FIR number 04/2021 has been registered in police station Keegam, police said.

Mudasir Ahmad, in charge of the wildlife control room Shopian, told Kashmir Reader that the carcass of the leopard has been put at police station Keegam where the departmental veterinarian will carry out its post mortem.

“There were grave injures on the head of the killed leopard. Its teeth were broken and even an eye had been removed with sticks,” he said.

He said that locals from the village had informed him about the spotting of two more leopards. “They surely would have cone there in search of their partner. Our technical inputs suggest it was a leopard family,” he said, adding that his team will put a cage in the area on Thursday to capture and then release the leopards in safe places.

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