Angry villagers kill a rare leopard

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 13 (PTI) A rare leopard was beaten todeath by angry villagers in Gandarpur area near here todayafter it strayed into human habitation and injured twopersons, official sources said.

"Angry over injuries caused to two youths by theleopard which had entered the human settlement, villagers ofGandarpur beat the animal to death using sticks and cricketbats," city DFO J K Das told PTI.

The rare animal was first spotted in the morning bysome youths in a bush on the village outskirts, nearNandankanan Zoo, he said adding the villagers were agitatedafter the leopard attacked two youths.

A large number of villagers, armed with sticks,cricket bats, hockey sticks and other objects, gathered nearthe site and encircled the leopard before beating the animalnon-stop till it died, he said.

A investigation has been ordered into the incidentand the circumstances that led to the killing of the leopard,DFO said.

The animal''s carcass was sent for post-mortem, he saidadding the leopard was killed before forest officials andtranquiliser team could reach the site to trap it.

After killing the animal, the villagers refused tohand over the carcass to the forest department personneldemanding compensation to the injured. The carcass wasrecovered following intervention of senior officials, sourcessaid.

The injured persons were taken to Capital Hospitalhere, Das said.

The leopard was suspected to have strayed into thearea from nearby Chandaka forest, officials said adding it wasa rare occasion as leopards normally do not enter into thisarea.

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