8-year-old girl mauled by leopard, dies

RAJKOT: An eight-year-old tribal girl was dragged away while she was sleeping in an open hutment at a farm and killed by a leopard in Dhari range of the Gir sanctuary during Wednesday night.

According to Maniswar Raja, deputy conservator of forests (DCF), Gir East, Chandrika Bamaniya, a native of Jambua district in Madhya Pradesh, and her family had moved to Gopalgram village in Dhari taluka of Amreli district four years ago for labour work in agriculture.

On Wednesday night, the family was sleeping in a makeshift arrangement in an open agriculture field. “It was only early in the morning when the girl’s father Mersan Bamniya woke up and did not see his daughter that he tried to locate her. He found her body in a cotton field, about 500 metres from where they had been sleeping,” Raja said.

“Bamaniya alerted the forest department soon after the incident and officials reached the spot. As per the rules, the family will get a compensation of Rs 1 lakh,” Raja added.

The body has been sent for postmortem. “We have placed cages in the area where the leopard picked up the girl,” Raja said, adding, “To avoid such incidents, we have asked farmers and labourers to avoid sleeping in the open fields.”

bigcatrescue.org

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