A woman was critically injured after she was mauled by a leopard in Maharashtra’s Pune district early Thursday, in the fourth such attack in the last three days, said officials. The attack took place at Khed taluka’s Jaulke village, a neighbouring area of the Retwadi village, where two women were attacked by a leopard on Tuesday.
Earlier, three persons, including two women, were injured in three separate incidents of attacks by leopards in Khed and Ambegaon talukas of Pune district on Tuesday night and Wednesday early morning. One of the injured women in the Khed taluka incident is critical after having sustained a severe injury on the head.
The two women were attacked in Retwadi village of Khed taluka. The two places of attacks are located around one-and-half-kilometre away from each other. In the first incident that took place around 6.15 pm on Tuesday, Rizwana Abdul Pathan (35) was attacked by a leopard not far from her home. At around 8.30 pm, Aruna Sanjay Bhalekar (50), was grievously injured in the attack by a leopard.
“The incident on Thursday took place around 5.30 am at Jaulke village, located around three kilometre from Retwadi. The woman, identified as Lata Borhade (45), sustained severe head injuries in the attack by a leopard,” said a forest official.
In another incident at Thorandale village in Ambegaon taluka, in the early hours of Wednesday, 17-year-old Onkar Temgire, who had gone to his family farm to release the water to the crops around 5.30 am, was attacked by a leopard. Temgire has sustained an injury on the face and is receiving treatment at a local hospital.
Range Forest Officer Pradeep Raundhal said that patrolling has already been stepped up in the region and multiple trap cages have been installed in the area for the leopard. Officials said that they were not sure if the same leopard is involved in all the three cases, considering the high population of leopards in the area.
Among the key drivers of human wildlife encounters, especially those with leopards, are the changes that forest areas go through during this period and also the cutting of sugarcane that happens during this time, which result in increased movement of leopards in the region.