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     Bilaspur, February 19, 2014:  Amid shrinking woods, leopard killed yet another boy and some domesticated animals in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh, officials said today.

     “A five year old boy was killed by Leopard in Mendrapara village,” a senior police officer of Bilaspur District Vijay Pandey said today.

     Yesterday also some animals were hunted down by the leopard on the nearby areas of Ratanpur city, said Pandey, who is the Additional District Police Superintendent of Bilaspur.

     “This is the known second case of human hunting by the wild animal,” Pandey said.

      “On December 28 last also one 10-year-old boy was killed by the Leopard near Ramtekri village of the same area, whose body was recovered subsequently,” the ASP said.

     Giving details of the latest incident, Pandey said on Monday night when the five year boy Aman Dhruve had gone to his courtyard for natures call, he was mauled by the wild cat.

     Other family members raised alarm on seeing a leopard dragging the boy. The villagers immediately launched a search and the boy was found dead some distance from his house, the police officer said.

     Yesterday also people from nearby villages of Ratanpur area reported that a leopard had killed some domesticated animals in their villages, Pandey said.

     In December also the wild cat had killed a boy near a temple in Ramtekri area, which was initially suspected as human sacrifice but a detailed forensic investigation revealed the killing by any wild animal, he said adding subsequent investigation leads to inputs of  the presence of a leopard in that area.

     “Forest Department has already launched a massive haunt to capture the leopard,” the senior police officer said who himself is in touch with the State Wildlife Department for the same.

      Villagers have also reported to the Police and Forest departments that they have spotted a leopard with two cubs in that area, near Ratanpur town.

      Ratanpur is located in Bilaspur district, 145 kilometre north of Chhattisgarh capital Raipur.

     Ratanpur is the ancient capital of Chhattisgarh, and is also famous for its Mahamaya Temple.

     Chhattisgarh state High Court is also located in the same Bilaspur district.

     The Ratanpur area, where the leopard is currently engaged in human hunting, is close to Achanakmar Tiger Reserve, which is spread over 915 Square Kilometre area. Estimated 12 tigers are present in the Achanakmar Tiger Reserve as per the website of the Chhattisgarh Forest Department.

     About 34 per cent of Chhattisgarh are having forest cover. But the shrinking forest cover over the years has put pressure on the wild animals and the conflict between man and animal area increasing day by day as cases of wild animals and elephants visiting nearby villages for food have increased many fold.

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