According to locals the leopard has to date devoured 15 people, including 10 children in the Baitadi district of Nepal. All grim news if you were planning a trip to Nepal or if you already happen to be there now wondering how to plan your day accordingly.
So far the following questions are being asked, is this the work of one singular leopard on the loose, are there more of them on the prowl (as possibly suspected) and most importantly why are the Nepalese leopards now eating people?
Maheshwor Dhakal, an ecologist at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Kathmandu, has a gruesome theory.
“Since human blood has more salt than animal blood, once wild animals get the taste of salty blood they do not like other animals like deer.”
He goes on to say that it is unusual to find more than one or two man-eating animals in one area. Most leopards live on wild prey.
More human victims could also be expected if there were more than one or two man-eaters around, he said.
Offers local police chief Kamal Prasad Kharel :
“No adult male has been killed,”
All the victims are from villages bordering the dense forests in the district, he said.
After killing its victim, the leopard takes the body away into the forest to eat.
“In the case of the children it just leaves behind the head, eating everything, but some parts of the adult body are left behind because it cannot finish it.”
But in case you’re wondering if this is the start of a new trend there’s this too according to Dhakal the ecologist:
‘While cases of leopards killing domestic animals are common, and there are sometimes instances of leopards killing people in Nepal, this case is “extreme.”
Then again define extreme and normal?
Authorities are offering a reward of 25,000 rupees, or $280 – roughly three months average wages for a Nepalese villager – for the capture of the animal, dead or alive.