Uttarakhand teenager listening to music on her headphone, killed by leopard

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A teenage girl who was listening to music on her headphones was attacked and mauled to death by a leopard in Ramnagar area of Nainital district, said forest officials Sunday.

Mamta, a class 8 student from Chunakhan area under Bailparao forest range in Ramnagar was sitting on the bank of a canal that flows parallel to her thatched house on Saturday evening. She was listening to music on her headphone when a leopard suddenly attacked her and dragged her towards the forest area. Her body was later recovered from the nearby bushes, said a forest official.

“When we rushed to the spot on getting information from the villagers about the incident, a headphone and a comb were found from the spot. The victim was wearing headphones so she probably couldn’t hear the leopard,” said Santosh Pant, range officer, Bailparao forest range in Ramnagar.

With the latest incident, eight people have been killed in Kumaon by leopards in the last one month.

Forest officials have set up two cages and seven camera traps near the place where the incident took place to catch the leopard. The big cat returned to the incident place but it could not be trapped as villagers raised alarm on seeing it due to which it escaped to the forests, said Pant.

“The leopard has been caught on camera trap. He returned to the place where the teen was killed. It was heading towards the cage but it fled when villagers raised an alarm on seeing it,” said Pant.

Pant said, “Two cages and seven camera traps have been set up near the place where the incident took place. We will change the place and position of the cage in the evening to catch the big cat. If the villagers had not raised the alarm on Saturday evening, the leopard would have been trapped in the cage”.

Pant said the body of the girl was handed over to her relatives on Sunday after post-mortem.

“The victim’s family will be sanctioned Rs three lakh as ex-gratia from the state forest department. So far a cheque of Rs 90,000 has been provided to her family,” said Parag Madhukar Dhakate, conservator of forest, western circle in Kumaon.

On Friday, a 65-year-old man was attacked by a leopard in Tanakpur area of Champawat district when he had gone to fetch firewood. He was severely injured and rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

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