ATTACK OF THE LEOPARD|Richard_F||01/24/07 at 13:45:58|richard_f|xx|0||ATTACK OF THE LEOPARD
Big cat city rampage terror
By Mark Dowdney
A HUNGRY leopard attacked a man after being chased and cornered when it was spotted in suburbs in India.

The big cat had darted across a park, scaled a wall and ran through gardens searching for food in the western city of Nasik.

Panicked residents beat it with sticks. The endangered animal fought back, injuring three people, but was battered to the ground. It was taken to a wildlife sanctuary after Wednesday's attack but died from its injuries. Leopards are increasingly entering residential areas as their habitat is destroyed. Hunger has turned some into man-eaters.

On the same day, villagers in Kashmir destroyed a leopard which had killed three children.

Anuradha Sawhney, head of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in India, said: "This is a result of rapid urbanisation."

|| Re: ATTACK OF THE LEOPARD|Richard_F||01/24/07 at 13:50:25|richard_f|xx|0||Leopard dies from people attack  

Leopards have been encroaching into populated areas
A leopard has died in the city of Nasik located in the western Indian state of Maharashtra after a severe beating by panicked members of the public.
The incident happened after it strayed into a populated area, wildlife officials say.

In recent years, attacks by leopards have gone up in Maharashtra state, resulting in the deaths of 22 people.

Dozens of people chased the leopard all over the densely populated Nasik city before cornering the wild animal.

Eyewitnesses said the public panicked on spotting the leopard and attacked the big cat in apparent self-defence.

Loss of habitat

N Munde, a wildlife official, said the beatings were the result of ignorance about the wildlife in the general public.

But he also said the leopard's foray into the human population was a clear indication of the continuing loss of habitat for the wild animals in the state.

"The loss of habitat results in a conflict between man and animal."

Some caged leopards were recently released back into the wilderness near Nasik, about 100km from India's commercial capital, Mumbai (Bombay).

A couple of years ago, leopards were venturing out of their habitat in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai and attacking people nearby.

Wildlife experts are worried that regular encroachments on the sanctuary, Mumbai's green lungs, were resulting in animals slipping out into the human population.