Dahod (Guj) A leopard, which is suspected to have killed two girls and a woman in Dhanpur forests of Dahod district of Gujarat last month, has been captured, forest department officials said on Friday.
The wild animal was caught near Kotambi village of Dhanpur taluka on Thursday night, they said.
“The leopard was trapped in a cage put up by the forest staff,” Assistant Conservator of Forest, Akshay Joshi, said.
Forest officials said they had been trying to capture the big cat since the last two weeks after it killed a 64-year-old woman and two teenage girls in Dhanpur last month.
“Around 15 cages with bait were set up at various places in the forest area of Dhanpur to trap the animal,” said Joshi.
As several cages were set up in Dhanpur forest to catch the animal, one more leopard was trapped nearby Punakota village during the night, he said.
“Though two leopards were caged last night, we are 99 percent sure that the one captured near Kotambi is the culprit, as pug marks collected by us earlier matched with that leopard. Even some villagers, who had seen that leopard during previous attacks, also confirmed it,” Joshi said.
Another reason to believe that the leopard caged in Kotambi was the man-eater is the broken canine teeth, the officer said.
“When a wild animal loses its canine teeth, it cannot hunt effectively. Such animals then turn to human beings who are weak, such as those three women killed by the leopard.
Other physical characteristics also suggest that the leopard captured in Kotambi is a man-eater,” said Joshi.
Both these leopards have been sent to a rescue center near Pavagadh in nearby Panchmahal district for further probe.