Leopard mauls boy to death

Leopard mauls boy to death

A seven-year-old boy, Tejas, was mauled to death by a leopard when he was walking in the fields looking for his parents, in Naganahalli of Hassan taluk on Wednesday.

The body was recovered on Thursday but efforts to trap the killer leopard were unsuccessful. Son of Annegowda and Prema, Tejas returned from school and on not finding his parents at home, went into the sugarcane field in search of them. The leopard, which was apparently lying in wait for its prey, ambushed the little boy and dragged him away.

The boy’s uncle, who went past that way, saw a blood trail but ignored it thinking some animal had fallen prey.

When the entire family returned home except Tejas, they feared the worst. The family and other villagers began a hunt and found only the blood soaked clothes of the boy.

When forest department officials reached the village on Wednesday night, they were accosted by angry villagers. The villagers got more restive when they found that the forest staff had brought just one net along as a trap. Soon, forest officials decided to shoot down the leopard rather than try to trap it.

The leopard did appear at one point and forest staff fired three rounds but the beast managed to escape, after injuring a couple of onlookers.

After a thorough search, the half-eaten body of Tejas was found hidden in a thick bush. Barring half a limb and above the chest, the leopard had devoured the rest of the little boy’s body. “What we sighted today is only a cub; another cub and the mother leopardess are on the prowl,” claimed villagers.

Compensation
The forest department gave a cheque for Rs two lakh as compensation to the parents of the boy. Another compensation of Rs three lakh would be awarded soon, officials said.

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