Sick leopard's ordeal: villagers take selfies, try to ride animal in MP

The male leopard, believed to be around 10 years old, was rescued by the forest department, which suspects the animal is afflicted with a brain disorder

Representative image of a leopard (photo: IANS)
Representative image of a leopard (photo: IANS)


Shocking videos of an ailing wild leopard being surrounded by a group of villagers, who are taking selfies with him and even trying to ride him, have emerged from Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh.

The incident occurred in Iklera village in Dewas on Tuesday, 29 August. following which the forest department rescued the leopard. The animal, suspected to be suffering from a brain disorder, was admitted to a zoo in Indore city on Wednesday in critical condition, an official said.

The official also expressed surprise that the male leopard neither attacked the group of people surrounding him, nor roared at them.

"The leopard was rescued on Tuesday from Iklera village, about 80 km from Indore," said Vikas Mahore, superintendent of the forest department's Kheoni sanctuary in Dewas.

He said that villagers will be warned not to go near any sick wild animal in future for their own safety.

In the videos that have surfaced on social media, a group of men, some of them holding sticks, are seen either sitting or standing near the leopard. Some of them try to click pictures with the spotted feline, while some others touch the animal, which is not resisting their attempts. One video shows a man trying to ride the animal when the latter is walking.

Speaking to PTI, Dr Uttam Yadav, in-charge of Indore's Kamla Nehru Zoo, said the forest department rescued the leopard, aged around 10, from a rural area in Dewas district and admitted him to the zoo hospital.

"The leopard's body is stiffening and he is getting seizure attacks about every 20 minutes. Prima facie, the animal is suffering from some brain disorder," he said.

As per the advice of veterinarians, treatment of the leopard has been initiated and the animal has been kept under 24-hour surveillance, Yadav said.

"This is the first time we have seen that despite being harassed by villagers, a leopard neither roars at them nor resists their attempts. This is very shocking because no matter how sick and weak big cats are, they never give up their in-built tendency to resist when they are in trouble," he added.

On the leopard being handled in an insensitive manner by local residents, he said, "This behaviour is worrisome. Had the leopard attacked them, their lives could have been in danger."

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