Girl killed, boy injured in leopard attack in Mumbai

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Mumbai:  A four-year-old girl was killed and an 11-year-old boy injured in two separate incidents of leopard attacks in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Both incidents took place in Aarey colony, a forest area in Goregaon, a western suburb of Mumbai. The area lies on the periphery of Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Four-year-old Hiya Mhase, a resident of Khadakpada, went out of her home early on Tuesday morning to answer nature's call.

"The leopard was possibly lurking in the foliage there. I heard her scream and went after the leopard yelling, I tried to snatch her from the leopards jaws. He dropped her but then I was overtaken by fear and I retreated a little," said her father Rajesh. Little Hiya was taken to the Siddharth hospital where she died.

A little distance away, another boy, an 11-year-old was also attacked. He is now recuperating in a hospital.

Authorities say it is possible the same leopard attacked both the children.

The death of these two children has again led to terror in the scattered tribal hamlets that dot the verdant Aarey Colony.

Locals have armed themselves with sticks and axes and torches; these search parties have been formed to look for the leopard. They along with forest officials hope to trap the leopard attacking humans, in large metal cages. A forest official told NDTV that they will lay traps for the leopard until it is caught.

In the last few years, there have been a number of attacks by leopards which roam the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The increasing encroachment by humans in what's essentially the leopards' home has increased the man-animal conflict.

Since January this year, at least five people have been attacked by leopards in Mumbai.
 

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