A leopard was killed by angry residents after it mauled to death an elderly woman in India’s northeastern state of Assam, officials said.
The leopard was killed at Joypur village in Dibrugarh district, about 435 km northeast of Dispur, the capital city of Assam.
“Today a leopard strayed into a village here and killed a 60-year-old woman,” a wildlife official said. “This infuriated the residents, who were armed with clubs and sharp weapons. The agitated mobs surrounded the wild animal and killed him in retaliation.”
According to wildlife officials, the leopard had accidentally ventured into the village from nearby forest area possibly in search of food.
Local media reports said the irate villagers chopped up the animal into little pieces and ate its meat.
“The mobs then proceeded to consume the leopard’s meat as revenge,” New Delhi based TV news channel NDTV said. “A photograph shows the leopard’s paw, the only body part of the leopard which was left after the villagers consumed the leopard’s flesh.”
Officials said four villagers sustained injuries as the leopard was struggling to escape the cordon laid by the mobs.
Wildlife officials said leopards stray into residential areas usually in search of food.
However, the human presence makes them insecure, following which they resort to attacking people. At times these creatures are attacked by scared villagers in retaliation which also proves fatal for them.
There are strict laws in force in India against the killing of wild animals.
Wildlife experts say mass urbanization, denudation of forests, encroachment of forestland, vanishing of buffer zones in the forests and extraction of medicinal plants are some of the reasons responsible for increasing conflict between humans and animals.
Every year many people get killed or injured in the growing man-animal conflict across India.