A leopardess was attacked and brutally beaten to death on Saturday by several villagers in West Bengal’s Purulia district on Saturday afternoon.
The incident occurred in Dakhin Tatuara village near the Kotshila police station. Villagers spotted the animal near a small rivulet, and attempted to chase it. In its attempt to escape, the leopardess ran into the village instead of away from it, and reportedly entered a cowshed, causing panic.
The villagers first locked the door, and informed the police and forest department. When Souranshu Roy (officer in charge) and Si-manta Tantubai (assistant sub- inspector) unlocked the door, they were attacked by the big cat, who also injured two other villagers to save itself. However with little room for escape, it was soon cornered by hundreds of villagers who attacked it with sticks and axes, and beat the animal to death.
The leopardess’s tail was severed, and its paws chopped off, after which the carcass was suspended from a tree. A report quoted Divisional Forest Officer Purulia Omprakash: “We had sent forest staff along with police to rescue the animal but we were outnumbered by the villagers. Additional forces had to be sent to recover the body.”
A report has been logged under the Wildlife Protection Act. The forest officer also mentioned that while leopards and hyenas have strayed into villages earlier, this was the first time such a brutal killing had been carried out.