Tribal woman chases leopard, rescues son after fight

MP tribal woman chases leopard, rescues son after fight

The leopard made off with an eight-year-old on Sunday, but the boy's mother chased the feline for a kilometre and managed to rescue him

Representative picture. Credit: PTI Photo

In a show of valiance, a feisty tribal woman from a Madhya Pradesh village displayed immense courage by chasing down a leopard that had snatched her eight-year-old son and rescued him by fighting the carnivore.

The incident took place on Sunday night in Badi Jharia village, in the buffer zone of the Sanjay Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district, located over 500 kilometres from the state capital Bhopal.

Kiran, a Baiga tribal, was sitting beside a fire with her three children to keep them warm outside their hut. Suddenly, a leopard appeared and in a split second, caught hold of her son Rahul with its jaws and fled, a senior forest official said Wednesday.

Despite her son being suddenly snatched by the leopard, the woman did not lose her presence of mind. She confined her other children inside her hut and rushed into the forest chasing after the feline. The child was wounded and the woman also suffered injuries when the leopard attacked her, but she managed to return alive with her son, an act of strength and grit that was hailed by the forest department staff and state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The woman said that she was shocked by the sudden turn of events, but kept her cool, the tiger reserve's director, YP Singh, said. She chased the leopard for about a kilometre, but the big cat took cover in the bushes and then held the child with its claws, but Kiran did not relent. She kept trying to scare the leopard with a stick and also raised the alarm, the official said.

"The leopard probably got scared by the woman's courage and left the child. While Kiran immediately took her son into her arms, the feline attacked her. However, she overpowered the big cat with her valour," the official said.

In the meantime, other villagers also reached the spot on hearing Kiran's call for help and the leopard disappeared into the forest, he said. The boy received injuries to his back, cheeks and eyes and Kiran also got wounded in the attack, the official said.

Buffer zone ranger Aseem Bhuria later got them admitted to a primary health centre and provided immediate assistance of Rs 1,000. The forest department will bear all the expenses of their treatment, the official said.

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