Tirupati: 2 of 4 leopards nabbed not maneaters, say officials
The two leopards, that were suspected to be the one that mauled the girl to death, were captured by the forest officials on August 14 and 17
Two of the four leopards, that were captured after a six-year-old girl was mauled to death on the night of August 11 on the trekking pathway of Tirumala hills in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati district, had not killed the girl, forest officials familiar with the matter said.
Tirupati divisional forest officer (DFO) Satish Reddy said in a statement that a DNA test report from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) confirmed that these two leopards had not mauled the girl to death.
“One leopard was only 15-months-old and had no capacity to hunt, while another leopard had not developed strong teeth to maul a human being to death. The forensic tests also found that there were no traces of human flesh in their system,” Reddy said.
After ascertaining that the two leopards were not man eaters, the forest officials released one of them in Gundla Brahmeswaram Wildlife Sanctuary and shifted another leopard to Indira Gandhi Zoo in Visakhapatnam.
The two leopards, that were suspected to be the one that mauled the girl to death, were captured by the forest officials on August 14 and 17. The DNA test reports of the remaining two leopards are awaited, the DFO said.
On August 11, a six year old girl, named Lakshita, was attacked by a leopard while she was walking to Tirumala along the Alipiri footpath. Her body was found behind Lord Narasimha Swamy temple the next morning.
Subsequently, the forest department authorities laid traps to capture the leopards, to find the beast that killed the girl. Earlier in the last week of June, the authorities captured another leopard, who had attacked and injured a 11-year-old boy.
In all, five leopards were trapped by the forest officials in a span of two months, the forest official said.