PESHAWAR, July 22: Laboratory tests on one of the two leopards shot dead following killing of six women in attacks apparently carried out by wild animals in Abbottabad have failed to establish any link between the attacks and the beast, official sources here said. The six women were killed while collecting fodder in what was assumed to be attacks by leopards in the forest area of Abbottabad between June 30 and July 7.

The wildlife department officials told Dawn that families of none of the six victims agreed for post-mortem. Except for the last victim, who was killed in Seri village on July 7, none of the bodies was mutilated.

“Though we did not inspect the body, people of Seri village had said that the leopard had eaten up parts of the woman’s body,” said a senior official about the July 7 victim.

Following increase in the incidents of leopard attacks on women collecting fodder in forest areas, two common leopards, belonging to the family Panthra pardus, were gunned down — one by the department on the night of July 9 and the other by a private hunter, arranged by the department, on the night of July 13.

The department had sent viscera, including intestinal contents of the two animals to the Ayub Medical College for histopathology test and microscopic examination to establish whether these were responsible for the death of the six women.

“Histopathology report of the first of the two leopards could not establish that it was a man-eater,” said Dr Mumtaz Malik, chief conservative of the wildlife department, on Wednesday.

The first leopard was a 15-year-old male, while the second, aged three to four years, was female.

According to official sources, the length of one leopard was seven feet and seven inches. It had a height of 33 inches and weighed about 75kg.

The other leopard was five feet and seven inches in length, while its height was measured at 23 inches.

The wildlife department officials said that laboratory tests of viscera did not reveal that the leopard killed on July 9 had eaten human flesh.

“Neither the stomach nor the intestine of the leopard contained human remains. It cannot be said with authority that it had eaten any of the six women killed,” said an official.

According to him, the last of the six victims was killed on July 7 in the Seri area of Abbottabad, whereas, the first leopard was gunned down on the night between July 9 and 10 in the same area by police commandos and wardens of the wildlife department.

The official contended that neither the post-mortem of the animal nor the microscopic examination of its stomach and intestine had established that it had attacked and killed the women.

“The digestive system of the animal does not contain human remains like hairs, bones or flesh,” he added.

According to him, the stomach of one of the leopards contained traces of mud with grass fibres and vegetable material, while the other’s (female’s) stomach contained monkey hairs.

The microscopic examination also did not show any human parts.

The report contained that no human contents were identified either by the naked eye or through microscopic examination”.

The chief conservator said the Ayub Medical College had advised DNA testing to determine whether these animals had attacked and killed women.

However, the idea did not get the support of the wildlife department. “The DNA test takes too much time and costs too much, we are not going for that,” said a wildlife department official.

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