Leopard killed by villagers in Uttar Pradesh

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Ballia (Uttar Pradesh), July 1 (ANI): Angry villagers on Tuesday killed a leopard, which had been creating havoc for quite some time in Rasra area of Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh.

"Some people were sitting when suddenly the leopard attacked. Then the villagers chased the animal and it hid itself into the bushes. The villagers then came with their spears and other weapons and we bravely fought the beast and killed it," said Gangadeen, a resident.

The carcass of the leopard was later on handed over to the forest department.

India's leopards are under threat, with increasing number of these spotted feline beauties being poached for their hide and body parts.

Depletion of their habitat has also threatened the leopards, forcing them to stray into human settlements - attacking people, poultry birds and livestock cattle - and often getting killed in return.

According to Wildlife Protection Society of India, despite being an endangered and protected species at least 228 leopards have been killed since January 2006.

India had about 7,300 leopards according to a 1997 census, but conservationists say the number is now likely to be much lower. (ANI)

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