In an Indian farming town, angry Mandawar villagers in Gurgaon mercilessly beat a three-year-old endangered species leopard to death that had been in search of food in an ever developing area where wildlife continues to be forced back as agricultural areas continue to develop. According to India Today, the question remains why the police and forest department didn’t intervene to save the animal’s life?
On Friday, the young leopard had attacked some stray animals and hid under a bed after villagers went into a panic. Men came out armed with axes, bamboo sticks and stones in search of the animal. More than a hundred people cornered the leopard and beat it to death “to teach it a lesson.” Meanwhile the forest rangers had no control over the situation and stood helpless on the side for three hours as the frightened wild animal was tortured to death. And as if that wasn’t enough, the villagers, estimated to have been a thousand strong, then paraded the leopard’s dead body around shouting victory slogans and blocking local traffic.
The tragic incident not only resulted in the death of an endangered species, but also highlighted the lack of responsibility and skill of the forest department.
“The animal could injure so many people (9) and terrorize our village for so long because forest officials were so inept,” stated a resident of the village named Seema.
The forest department countered back stating there were too many people surrounding the leopard, and they were unable to secure the proper aim to tranquilize him. As the leopard population continues to decrease in the world due to habitat loss and pest control, animal cruelty remains a huge problem in India.
Authorities state that legal action will be taken against the people who initiated the riot towards the leopard.
(Photo of leopard via India Today screenshot)
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