A tragic incident occurred in the Junnar taluka of Pune district on Monday at 4pm when a four-year-old boy fell victim to a leopard attack. According to forest officials, the boy, identified as Shivansh Bhujbal, was playing when the leopard pounced on him and dragged him into a nearby sugarcane field.
"The incident unfolded near Ale village while the child's grandfather was working on a farm nearby. The leopard seized the boy and took him into the sugarcane fields. Villagers immediately sprang into action, chasing the leopard for approximately 100 meters. The predator eventually dropped the child before vanishing into the field. Despite being rushed to the hospital, the boy tragically succumbed to injuries sustained on his face, neck, and head," said forest officials.
This marks the third fatality attributed to leopard attacks in the Junnar forest division this year.
Just last week, a leopard attacked a couple travelling on a two-wheeler near Ghulepat Shiwar in Otur, Junnar taluka. Fortunately, prompt intervention by forest officials ensured the couple received immediate medical attention.
Meanwhile, the forest department has responded by placing cages in areas with a high leopard population and has urged citizens to maintain a safe distance while promptly reporting any leopard sightings. Citizens are strongly advised to take precautions for their safety, including ensuring proper lighting at night, avoiding solitary walks, carrying mobile phone batteries, playing loud music on their phones, and securing livestock within enclosed cowsheds.
These attacks are thought to be a consequence of urban encroachment into forest areas, leading to the disruption of jungle corridors and the incursion of animals into human-inhabited regions.