Leopard kills three children in Kashmir

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Authorities in India’s Jammu and Kashmir have ordered the killing of a leopard in Uri after three children were reportedly killed by the animal.

“In exercise of powers, vested in me under subsection 1(a) of the section 11 of Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972 hereby accords the permission in favour of Wildlife warden North Division Kashmir to hunt or cause the said animal to be hunted forthwith after completing the required formalities,” said J&K chief wildlife warden Suresh Gupta in the order issued on Tuesday.

“That it shall be ensured that all efforts to capture the animal through trapping cages or tranquilizing have been exhausted before eliminating the animal…,” it added.

The order came after the body of a 12-year-old girl, identified as Rutba Manzoor of Bernate village, was recovered from a nearby forest on the same day, reported The Hindustan Times.

The animal is believed to be roaming the villages in Uri in the Himalayan federal territory.

It is suspected that the leopard is also behind two other children’s deaths in the areas of Boniyar and Kalsan.

Thirteen-year-old Shahid Ahmad’s body was found in the forests of Boniyar on Sunday night.

Officials said that the teen had gone to the forest with his cattle earlier and fallen prey to the animal.

Muneer Ahmad, 15, in Kalsan was also killed by the animal a day earlier, officials added.

Baramulla Deputy Commissioner (DC) Syed Sehrish Asgar’s office said on Tuesday that authorities have been directed to capture or eliminate the leopard by mobilizing all the available resources, reported Press Trust of India.

The DC’s office added that safety of precious human lives as well as protection of wildlife resources is the utmost priority of the administration.

In addition, the sub-divisional magistrate’s office in Uri has issued guidelines to the general public for their protection and urged children not to venture into forests unaccompanied.

Announcements have also been made from mosques in Boniyar to caution residents and urge them to not go out in late evenings or early mornings.

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