Haldwani: Even as a nationwide debate rages over the killing of tigress Avni in Maharashtra, here comes another piece of news ordering the killing of a ‘man-eater’ leopard in Uttarakhand.

Over the past 15 years, 166 leopards and 16 tigers have been declared as “man-eaters”.

On Saturday, the Uttarakhand forest department officials declared a leopard as a “man-eater”. The animal is believed to have attacked people in the area. It is also suspected to have mauled two to death: a seven-year-old and a 15-year-old at Dhyanagan village of Bageshwar.

Hindustan Times reported that the leopard had killed a seven-year-old boy and chased another 15-year-old boy, who jumped in panic and died. 

The forest service has issued an order to the rangers to kill the leopard. A team of shooters will be sent from Almora to Bageshwar for the purpose. The leopard was last seen sitting atop a tree in the Dhyanagan village on Sunday.

Bageshwar MLA Chandan Ram Das had toured the village prior to this, and demanded that the leopard be killed, according to Hindustan Times.


This is not the first case of human-animal conflict in the region. It is a lingering issue in Uttarakhand, which might well turn into a poll plank during the campaign for the upcoming urban local body elections. The region faces a constant threat of attack by monkeys. Wild elephants crossed National Highway 121 in Ramnagar into the area recently, causing widespread panic.

To tackle wild animals that sneak into human settlements, forest officials use fire shots in the air and burst crackers. Mostly, this scares the animals away.

Commenting on the situation, wildlife vet and forensic expert Dr HS Prayag told MyNation, “A scientific investigation needs to be conducted, which should be confirmed twice before proclaiming any animal as a man-eater. A proper research should be done by professionals and not armchair 'experts'. A holistic approach and system needs to evolve.”

Recently, tigress Avni was shot dead by a sharp shooter Asgar Ali in  Maharashtra. Avni or T1 had killed 13 human beings in the Pandharkawada-Ralegaon forests of Yavatmal district in eastern Maharashtra.

A shoot-at-sight order was issued by the forest department for man-eater Avni. Over 100 shooters were deployed to kill the tigress. The murder of the tigress had outraged environmentalists and conservationists.