23 sheep dead, leopard the killer?

PANCHKULA: A suspected attack has left 23 sheep dead and 10 others injured in Hasanpur village in Naraingarh near .
According to cattle owner Shiv Kumar, 50 sheep were corralled in a pen. He was sleeping in a room nearby, when he woke up after hearing the sheep bleating in the early hours of Thursday. “When I woke up, I saw a wild cat like a leopard running away from the pen. Around 15 to 20 sheep were dead and others injured. I informed the sarpanch and in the morning we discovered that 23 sheep had died. Police also came to investigate the incident.”

Investigating officer assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Shakeel Ahmed said, “We have placed the dead sheep in the mortuary of the nearest veterinary hospital and will get the post-mortem conducted. It seems to be a leopard attack. This will, however, only be ascertained once the post-mortem is conducted.”

The people of the village are terrified as they have also spotted pugmarks near the sheep pen. Village sapanch Sham Lal said this was not the first leopard attack.

M L Rajvanshi, conservator of forests and wildlife, said, “We are checking whether they sheep were killed by a leopard or a bigger wild cat. We have not ruled out a leopard attack. As far as wolves are concerned, we have not spotted any in the two wildlife reserves in Panchkula.”

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Rajvanshi said the wildlife reserves spread across Panchkula, Morni, , , Sukhna and Nalagarh starting from Kalesar near Yamunanagar have a total of 153 leopards, while the two wildlife sanctuaries situated in Panchkula, Bir Shakargah and Khol Hi-Raitan, have 26 leopards.

He said Bir Shakargah and Khol Hi-Raitan are the only wildlife forest reserves with Panchkula. “Close encounters with leopards are a sign of overlapping habitats. Sightings, intrusions and death of four leopards in urban areas of Panchkula adjoining Morni hills recently have underlined the conflict between man and nature,” said Rajvanshi.

The cattle owner has lodged a complaint with the police.

Villagers SPOT PUGMARKS

Residents of Hasanpur village in Naraingarh near Panchkula spot pugmarks near the sheep pen

Village sarpanch says it is not the first leopard attack

M L Rajvanshi, conservator of forests and wildlife, says wildlife reserves spread across Panchkula, Morni, Pinjore, Kalka, Sukhna and Nalagarh starting from Kalesar near Yamunanagar have 153 leopards

Two wildlife sanctuaries situated in Panchkula, Bir Shakargah and Khol Hi-Raitan, have 26 leopards.

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