BHAKTAPUR, Feb 26: Two elderly men in Kuikel village in Changunarayan VDC-9 of Bhakatpur were injured in leopard attack on Tuesday morning. The men had gathered for a look at the wild cats upon hearing that they had appeared in the village. The injured have been identified as Sitaram Neupane, 60, of Chagunarayan VDC-9 and Harikaji Bhadel, 57, of Chagunarayan-2.
According to a local, Pradipna Pokharel, the leopards which had entered the village from the nearby Changunarayan forest attacked after the locals flocked to see them.
"At around 9 in the morning word spread in the village that leopards were sighted and the locals flocked to see the animals. When suddenly confronted with so many people, one of the two leopards attacked the villagers," said Pokharel.
Assistant Sub Inspector Min Rawal of Bhaktapur Police Range who was witness to the incident said, "The locals tried their best to chase away the animals but the animals wouldn´t relent. The locals attacked the leopards with whatever was handy and finally one of the leopards died and the other fled," said Rawal.
To kill these endangered animals is a crime but human life becomes important in such dreadful attack, informed Pokharel. "We wanted to chase the leopards away but our shouts and yelling didn´t work and we had to use force," said Pokharel.
"However, a year ago, with the help of the district forest office, we were able to tranquilize and capture one leopard but this one was not lucky," added Pokharel.
Sightings of leopards in the villages near the Changunarayan forest are a regular occurrence, shared District Superintendent of Police Puskar KC. "Human settlements have encroached the animals´ natural habitat and as a result these animals wander the nearby villages. However, leopard attacks are rare," said KC.
The leopard carcass has been handed over to the Bhaktapur District Forest Office.
Neupane is undergoing treatment at Shankarpur Hospital at Narayantar, Jorpati and Bhadel at Nepal Medical College at Attarkhel, Jorpati.