View Full Version : Leopard strays into Siliguri village, attacks policemen, forest guards

Abhishek Jamalabad
20-07-2011, 11:23 AM
Another unfortunate incident...
Original: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2260229.ece

Leopard strays into Siliguri village, attacks policemen, forest guards

A leopard strayed into a village near Siliguri in West Bengal's Darjeeling district on Tuesday and severely injured several policemen and forest guards when they tried to tranquilise it. Five villagers were also injured.

The leopard died in the evening after it was brought to a veterinary centre at Sukna.

Forest Department officials said the leopard must have strayed into Salugara village, either from the Baikunthapur range or the Mahananda reserve forest.

“It was spotted near a house in the morning by villagers who raised an alarm, and this startled the leopard. With the villagers trying to chase it, it tried to flee and injured five villagers in the process. Then, the leopard took shelter in an abandoned house,” Kanchan Banerjee, forest ranger of the Sukna Wildlife Range, told The Hindu on the phone.

Informed by the villagers, the Forest Department officials reached the spot with a large number of police personnel and forest guards.

“The animal pounced upon a forest guard when he tried to tranquilise it at the house, injuring him critically. The leopard fled from the site and took shelter in the bushes at the end of the village. Around 5.30 p.m., the forest guards were able to locate it, and as they were approaching the spot in an open-hood vehicle, the leopard pounced on them. Three policemen were severely injured in the incident that led to a scuffle between the animal and the policemen. The forest guards, meanwhile, succeeded in tranquilising the leopard,” Mr. Banerjee said.

But the leopard also suffered injuries, as the policemen used batons and knives to save their colleagues. “Though two doctors were kept ready throughout the operation, the leopard died while it was being treated at the Sukna veterinary centre. Only a post-mortem can ascertain the reason…, though external injuries are suspected to be the primary cause,” he said.

Abhishek Jamalabad
20-07-2011, 11:32 AM
More images of the incident here: Leopard mauls six in Siliguri - Yahoo! News (http://in.news.yahoo.com/leopard-attack-%E2%80%8E.html?page=all)
It is disturbing to see that a systematic, planned procedure is never followed during such incidents... As usual, there appears to be a large crowd, and a lot of commotion which causes the unfortunate animal to panic further. Ultimately, in an effort to defend themselves, the policemen/guards end up injuring the leopard. :(

Sabyasachi Patra
21-07-2011, 02:05 PM
The job of police is not to deal with wild animals. They are supposed to manage the crowd and force them to disperse. Whenever there is a similar incident, the authorities should immediately clamp down Section 144 and forcibly disperse people. When calm prevails the animal, which is bewildered due to so many people howling and throwing stones, will try to leave the place. That would also give sufficient time for the forest department persons as well as staff for tranquilising, if required to reach there.

The incident in siliguri causes lot of distress to the animal and also puts the life of untrained policeman and other untrained volunteers on risk.

I have seen that in these cases, after the leopard is captured or killed by gunfire by the police, often policemen proudly take pictures to show it to their folks and talk about their heroic deed in killing a "sher".

Unfortunately, we don't seem to learn from these incidents. This begs a question. Do we deserve such magnificent creatures roaming our forests? Do we deserve to be blessed with this phenomenal biodiversity that we have?

When we realise or follies it will be too late.