Leopard kills toddler in Nepal

2011-10-25 16:53

Kathmandu - A leopard dragged away and killed a 4-year-old boy in western Nepal, police said Tuesday, the third victim from the same remote village in just four months.

Local officers fear that one killer cat may be stalking Bela village in the mountains of central Nepal and could be responsible for all three deaths.

"A leopard took away a 4-year-old boy from his house on Sunday," said Surendra Prasad Mainali, the deputy superintendent of police for the district of Kavre, about 40km east of Kathmandu.

"He was playing inside his house. The police and locals conducted a search until midnight and found his dead body inside a forest."

Mainali said leopards had attacked numerous villagers in recent months and were increasingly targeting children.

A group of 15 Nepalese villagers, including a 14-year-old child, were arrested last month for eating a leopard in the belief that the meat could guard against gout, a painful joint disease.

Most of Nepal's leopards are found on the sub-equatorial plains of the southern Terai and in forested hill regions.

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