Leopard strikes a tea worker

Another worker at the Kalchini tea estate in the Alipurduar subdivision was mauled by a leopard today.

This was second such incident to have occurred at the same estate within four days.
Budhu Oraon (45), who was injured critically in the back and chest, was first admitted to the Latabari health centre and later shifted to the Alipurduar hospital.

Following two consecutive attacks in the same area of the estate, workers of the estate no longer feel safe to go out in the garden. They are even annoyed with the forest officials, who, they claim, have failed to ensure their security. “After one of our friends was attacked by a leopard last Saturday, forest staff had promised to set up a cage here because leopards usually come back to the spot of attack,” said Omdas Oraon. “The cage is, however, yet to arrive though four days have passed since then.”

According to the workers, Oraon was busy pruning the bushes, when the leopard, which had entered the garden with its cub, sprang on him from behind. Alarmed by Oraon’s screams, his colleagues rushed to the spot and started bursting crackers, which scared the animal back into the forest. “Nowadays, we carry crackers with us whenever we go to work in the garden,” said Bikash Mahali, a labourer at the estate.

According to the field director of Buxa Tiger Reserve, L.G. Lepcha, the leopard had entered the garden in search of easy preys. “This leopard had a cub with it, which made it obvious why it had entered the estate — it was looking for an easy prey,” he said.

Regarding the delay in setting up of the cage, he promised to start an inquiry about it. “I will see to it that the cage is set up by today,” Lepcha said. “Our staff will also patrol the place round the clock and villagers have also volunteered to help us.”

Source > The Telegraph