In a tragic turn of events, a leopard, which entered Na Gayan Gaon, outskirts of Jorhat in the early morning on Monday, was killed by police personnel in ‘self defence’ in the evening.
The divisional forest officer of Jorhat, Bidyut Borthakur said the forest department had tried to protect both the villagers and the leopard but failed to save the animal.
Borthakur said on being informed about the leopard which entered a house in the village, they called for support from the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), Borjuri, near Kaziranga National Park to tranquilise it.
“A team of about 4-5 persons including vets arrived in the afternoon and as soon as a dart was shot, the leopard leaped down from atop to the floor and the dart got dislodged immediately. It takes about 3 seconds to tranquilise but as the dart fell out, this did not happen,” Borthakur said.
He further said following this, the leopard prowled from one room to the other and could not be targeted again.
After sometime, the adult male leopard, which is about 8 years old, then broke open one door which was a bit weak and on the way attacked a forest guard and a CRPF man in which they were injured.
Borthakur said it then climbed atop a tree at a distance but was surrounded by the village people who came out with spears and other sharp weapons to kill it.
“The leopard would have left when darkness falls but the scared villagers wanted it to be removed or killed and were baying for its blood,” he said.
Borthakur further said at dusk when the leopard came down it could not make its way out and came face to face with a team of policemen and forest personnel whom it attacked.
“A policeman shot it in self defence,” he said.
The carcass has been sent for conducting post-mortem.