After week-long monitoring, Dhaurahra forest range officials of the Dudhwa buffer zone captured the leopardess that had mauled a minor boy to death on November 11, forest officials said here on Wednesday. The leopardess was caught on Monday night in Ganapur beat of the Dhaurahra range, the officials said, adding that it had killed seven-year-boy Manoj while he was returning home with his mother. The leopardess had dragged Manoj to a sugarcane field before killing him.
Earlier, it was suspected that the child was killed by a wolf, which was on the prowl in the area. The analysis of the pugmarks lifted from the spot confirmed it to be a leopard, which is a protected species of schedule one category under the Wildlife Protection Act. The killing had led to resentment in the area.
In view of this, teams of the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), special tiger protection force and the Dudhwa buffer zone field staff, were deployed to comb the area and keep watch over the movements of the animal to avert any further attack. The principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Had issued instructions to trap The animal.
Deputy Field Director, Dudhwa buffer zone, Dr Anil Kumar Patel, said, "Following the instructions, night-vision enabled infrared cameras were installed while cages were placed at viable areas with field staff keeping a close watch." "On Monday night, the errant leopardess crept into a cage attracted with bait and the field staff keeping a close vigil captured it," he said, adding that a team of doctors from the WTI examined the leopardess, which was about three years of age.
He said the team found that the leopardess was not a "man-eater" and declared it "fit to be released in the wild." Dr Patel said the leopardess would now be released into Dudhwa forests. Meanwhile, while carrying the captured leopardess, the Dhaurahra range officials managed to rescue the wolf from near Sisaiya where it was found to be injured.
Dr Patel said the wolf would be sent to Lucknow zoo for proper treatment in captivity. Patel said a monetary compensation of Rs 5 lakh under the state disaster response fund (SDRF) would be given to the family of Manoj. In Oct 2018, UP was the first state which had declared man-wild animal conflict casualties to be treated as a state disaster, providing compensation of Rs 5 lakh.