Meditating monk killed in India leopard attack

Published December 13, 2018
A file photo of a leopard being chased away by a mob in India.
A file photo of a leopard being chased away by a mob in India.

A Buddhist monk has been killed by a leopard while meditating in a protected forest for the big cats, the fifth such attack in the area this month, Indian police said on Thursday.

Rahul Walke Bodhi was seated beneath a tree in Ramdegi forest in western India for morning prayers on Tuesday when the leopard pounced.

The 35-year-old monk was fatally injured, police in Maharashtra state said.

Two other devotees meditating with him at the time escaped unscathed to alert police, who started a search for his body.

“His badly mauled body was found further into the forest, indicating the animal tried to drag it along,” Krisna Tiwari, a senior police officer in the region, told AFP.

The forest, roughly 825 kilometres (510 miles) west from the state capital Mumbai, falls within a protected reserve for big cats where four other fatal attacks have occurred in recent weeks.

The monks, in the area for an annual prayer conference, had ignored warnings from local officials about venturing too far into the forest, police said.

The attack followed a separate fatal incident on Monday, when shopkeeper Sandeep Arjun was killed outside his stall on the outskirts of the forest.

It was unclear whether the same leopard was responsible for both attacks.

Three more deaths attributed to leopards and tigers have been reported around the reserve in the past month, officials say.

Official estimates suggest there are between 12,000 and 14,000 leopards in India.

Urban expansion has reduced their numbers as forest habitats shrink, bringing them into closer contact — and conflict — with humans.

An estimated 431 leopards were killed in 2017, according to government figures. Most were killed by poachers for their hides and body parts.

There are no figures on the number of humans killed by leopards, but experts say there are hundreds of deaths each year.

Opinion

Editorial

Unyielding onslaught
12 Jun, 2024

Unyielding onslaught

SEVEN soldiers paid the ultimate price in Lakki Marwat on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up in an IED attack,...
X diplomacy
Updated 12 Jun, 2024

X diplomacy

Both states can pursue adversarial policies, or come to the negotiating table and frankly discuss all outstanding issues, which can be tackled through dialogue.
Strange decisions
12 Jun, 2024

Strange decisions

THE ECP continues to wade deeper and deeper into controversy. Through its most recent decision, it had granted major...
Interest rate cut
Updated 11 Jun, 2024

Interest rate cut

The decision underscores SBP’s confidence that economic stability is gaining traction.
Rampant zealotry
11 Jun, 2024

Rampant zealotry

Decades of myopic policies pursued by the state have further aided the radicalisation of significant portions of the population.
Cricket breakdown
11 Jun, 2024

Cricket breakdown

THERE was a feeling that Pakistan had finally turned the corner in their T20 World Cup campaign. Sadly, it was only ...