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Leopard mauls youth

Jalpaiguri, May 25: A leopard attacked a 23-year-old who had gone with other residents of his village to search for the animal in a small tea plantation in Mainaguri near here today.

According to a villager in Banglarjhar, around 30km from here, the leopard had been roaming in Mainaguri for the past few weeks.

The animal had taken away cattle and livestock from the area.

The villagers have alleged that foresters had not captured the animal, despite repeated requests by them.

“We had intimated the forest department but nothing was done on their part. Today around 9am, when we came to know that a cow was again taken away by the animal, many villagers started searching for the leopard. After some time, Ranjit Roy, one of our neighbours, spotted the animal inside a drain in a small tea plantation,” said Ranjit Adhikari, a villager.

“As Roy raised the alarm, the animal attacked him. He was mauled and bitten on his back and limbs. The leopard then fled the spot,” he said.

Roy was taken to Mainaguri block hospital first and then referred to the district hospital in Jalpaiguri.

“Our officers have visited the village. We have come to know that the leopard is roaming in the area and attacked a person today. Our plan is to lay a trap, catch the animal and then release it in reserve forest area,” said Sumita Ghatak, the divisional forest officer of wildlife II .