Man-eater leopard captured near Srinagar

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{image-Himalayan leopard_25072008.jpg}Srinagar, Jul 25: Wildlife authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have captured a man-eater leopard, which they said has killed at least six children, and injured scores of residents in the state. Authorities of Dachigam National Park in Srinagar dispatched a team after some locals sighted the leopard.

"It took us half-an-hour to trace the animal, but then we were successful in darting the animal, immobilizing it. The leopard was found lying in the semi-conscious condition," Rashid Naqash, a wild life warden at the national park. The leopard was captured earlier as well, but had managed to escape. The 12-feet-long Himalayan leopard weighing 75 kg was carrying a cash rewards on his head plus a shoot at sight orders.

Depletion of their habitat has also 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.


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