Lakhimpur Kheri (UP), May 10 : Irate residents on Friday burnt alive a man-eater leopard at Bilahar village in Lakhimpur Kheri District in Uttar Pradesh.
According to the villagers, the leopard had killed five people since December and injured several others.
Hundreds of armed villagers surrounded the orchard where the wild cat was hiding.
" The beast came out of a bush breaking the human ring and attacked a number of people. After it attacked me, I caught hold of its legs. After that we were struggling as it wanted to bite my head but my shoulder was nearer to him, which it attacked," said Ram Naresh, an injured villager.
Wildlife authorities were unsuccessful in catching the wild cat after spotting it early this week.
Depletion of their habitat has threatened the leopards, forcing them to stray into human settlements -- attacking people and cattle -- and often getting killed in return.
Despite being an endangered and protected species, at least 228 leopards have been killed since January 2006, 68 of them had been killed in 2007 alone.
India had about 7,300 leopards in the wild according to a 1997 census, but conservationists say the number is now lower.
Development pressures and encroachments into forest areas has also brought humans and wild cats into conflict.