A ferocious leopard may have killed 15 people in Nepal in a 15-month span, its latest victim a 4-year-old boy that the creature dragged away into the jungle to eat.
The head of boy was found in the forest a kilometer from his home Saturday morning, said Kamal Prasad Kharel, the police chief of the Baitadi district, an area about 600 kilometers (373 miles) west of Kathmandu.
The police chief suspects that a single man-eating leopard is responsible for the deaths. If not, there are at most two of the man-eating creatures around, he believes.
Maheshwor Dhakal, an ecologist at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Kathmandu, agreed that it is unusual to find more than one or two man-eating animals in one area. Most leopards live on wild prey.
Controlling this particular leopard has been a challenge for the wildlife officials in Kathmandu.
The chief district administrator has granted permission for this particular leopard to be killed. Normally, it is illegal to kill wild animals.
This is somewhat reminiscent of the Beast of Gevaudan. Wolves went for mostly children, attacked and dragged away, leaving a gruesome find. (I’d recommend this book for more on that topic and the Monster Talk episode here).
There is no mention of any special attributes of this man-eater. The local officials have recognized that this is an extreme case but one that can be handled with knowledgeable people (a veterinarian is being sent to look at the situation) and proper attention. It just may be in this case that the humans were easy prey.
Leopards are classified as “near threatened” in India.