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Leopard attacks at least 16 people including forest officers in Assam’s Jorhat, tranquillized and captured after a day of terror

The leopard attacked at least 16 people at the Rain Forest Research Institute (RFRI) facility at Chenijan in Jorhat and its nearby areas

Around 16 people including forest officers, women, and children have been hurt in separate assaults by a leopard on the rampage in Assam’s Jorhat since Monday morning. The majority of the injured are from the Rain Forest Research Institute (RFRI) facility on the outskirts of Jorhat, at Chenijan. Officials with the Forest Department believe the animal entered the campus in pursuit of food from the nearby Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary. The leopard was successfully tranquillized on Wednesday morning.

Forest range officer Iqbal Ahmed confirmed the incident and said that the leopard attacked two forest officers on December 26. The video of the incident went viral over social media in which the leopard could be seen attacking a four-wheeler carrying forest staff and then a van with civilians. The two injured forest officers are Jitumoni Bora and Prabodh Saikia.

It was spotted seeking cover behind the stairway of a residential section in another video capture released over the media. According to a forest department officer, the animal constantly moved its position and later ventured into neighbouring settlements throughout the night.

Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Police Jorhat, Mohan Lal Meena, took cognizance of the event and said that the leopard’s behaviour was erratic as they usually don’t attack humans. “The research institute has a forest area of around 200 bighas and the leopard is believed to have come out of there. The animal has been roaming around the area and the forest department is trying to track it,” said Meena before the animal was captured.

Ranjit Konwar, DFO (in-charge) Jorhat, reported that the leopard escaped from the RFRI in the evening and began assaulting civilians in neighbouring villages encircled by tea plantations. “The animal has become very aggressive. We have laid traps inside the campus to capture it. Efforts are on to track it,” he said. Konwar further stated that all campus inhabitants had been told to stay indoors. 

“Many of the injured were bitten and needed hospitalization. But they seem to be out of danger now. But more people with injuries are coming to Jorhat Medical College Hospital,” hospital spokesperson Purnima Barua confirmed. She went on to say that around midday, two children, a mother, and two forest authorities were transported to the hospital. Mousumi Bora and her daughter Parishmita Bora were among the injured. Another attacked woman Rekha Gogoi is said to be seriously injured,

The injured were provided with proper medical attention immediately and their condition is stable at present. Later, the leopard who caused the attack injuring at least 16 in Jorhat was tranquillized and captured by the forest department on December 27.

“The forest department launched an observation campaign and watched the big cat through Monday night. Today, around 9.30 a.m., we were able to get hold of the leopard and successfully tranquillize him,” Forest range officer Iqbal Ahmed said on Tuesday.

The leopard has been captured and has been shifted to the Kaziranga National Park. The leopard has been mildly injured and it will undergo treatment at Kaziranga. Vet officials said that the leopard is aged around 3 to 4 years.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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