SRINAGAR, June 27: A leopard that wandered into a remote village in Kashmir’s Rajouri district went on a rampage, killing a three-year-old boy, his sister and swiping off a part his mother’s scalp before fleeing into the forest, witnesses and officials said Wednesday.
A woman, Zahida Begum, along with her two children was on her way to a spring in Darimal area near a forest to fetch water when a leopard attacked the family, they said.
“Zahida and her daughter Ishrat were seriously injured but the minor Faizan died on the spot,” said Mohammad Ismail a resident who lives nearby.
Ishrat succumbed a day after at a hospital.
Leopard and Himalayan black bear populations have increased after a ban on hunting was enforced in Kashmir in 1970, and the loss of pine forests has already increased contact between animals and people.
Wild bears and leopards are now frequently wandering into villages and killing people.
“Such incidents should be minimized by keeping strict vigil especially near forest habitations,” Minister of State for Forest, Power, CA&PD and Transport, Shabir Ahmed Khan said.
He called upon the concerned field functionaries to be punctual and alert to duties at their jurisdictions to evade wild-animal attacks especially in human habitats.