Dahod: The 'man-eater' leopard of Dahod district which killed 3 woman recently has now most likely crossed Gujarat border and moved to neigbhouring Madhya Pradesh.On the other hand Gujarat government has sanctioned the permission to shoot the deadly beast at site and on the formal request of forest department, local police is looking for a shooter for the job if the need arises.
The suspected male leopard was also not involved in an incident of attack on a 26 year old woman in Antela village under Devgadh Bariya taluka of the same district last evening.
DFO of Baria division Janak L Zala today told UNI that the pug marks of the beast were seen on both the sides of river Panan close to the Kathiwara forest in Alirajpur district of West Madhya Pradesh recently. 'It indicates that the beast has most likely crossed in to the Kathiwara forest rage of MP and we have intimated and alerted the forest department and local RFO of the neighbouring state about it,' he said.
Zala also said that all the attempts to cage or catch the beast alive are being made. Five cages have been kept and even forest officials with tranquilizing guns were kept in hiding in one closed cage close to another cage with goat as bait so that on site it could be given a tranquilizing shot. But it did not turn up.
' Based on the description of some of the forest officials and those who had escaped the attack, it has been established that it was a male leopard. For the past few days we were tracking its pug-marks which led to river Panam and even beyond it on the MP side,' he said.
To a query he said that the permission for killing the beast if the need arises has been granted by the higher-ups but we have been asked to contact police for the job. The local police does not have any such sharp shooter needed for the job and they were looking for the one.
Notably, in a repeat like incident of 2002-03, this 'man-eater' leopard has so far killed 3 including two girls and injured another woman in less than a week in Baria forest division of Dahod district of central Gujarat where another such beast was gunned down almost 15 years ago when it had killed 8 people in and around the same area.
On November 26 the leopard killed Mathuriben Ganava (64), in Bharpur forests when she had gone to pick fire-woods with 3 other woman who somehow escaped. Earlier on November 22 this leopard had killed 11 year old Jyotasana S Parmar in Punakot forest close to her native Khalata where she had gone to graze her goats and cattle. The same leopard had attacked and killed another girl Asmita G Vasaya (10), a resident of Dumka in nearby Kotambi forest on November 21 morning where she had gone with a group of women to pick fire-wood. The leopard had also attacked and injured a woman in Kotambi that day. All these areas are in the vicinity of 3 to 4 kms.
Zala said that the with the consent of local people, Sarpanchs and local MLA and Minister of Statei Bachubhai Khabad permission was sought for gunning down the beast.
'Simultaneously we have also intensified our efforts to cage the beast at the earliest. Even if it has crossed over to MP side it can return to our territory. We had put a cage with the blood soaked sari of a deceased wrapped around a dummy in nearby. The beast did not turn up. We had also installed trap cameras to track his movement. We have got the permission to shoot but it would be the last measure,' he said.
He said that all the places where the killings happened fall under Danpur taluka and were in close vicinity of Ratanmahal forests where as per the last 2016 wildlife census, around 48 leopards live.
Zala said that in 2002-03, another leopard had attacked people in similar area and had killed 8 of them after which with the permission of authorities it was gunned down.(UNI)