Shocking! 4-year-old brutally killed after being attacked by a leopard
With this horrifying incident coming into light, child safety has once again become the main agenda for urban parents! Here's what you can do immediately!
Over the past few years, you must have read several stories of leopard attacks in India. The last time the issue became a serious concern was when the wild cat reportedly entered a Bengaluru school and mauled three men.
It was only after the six-year-old male leopard was tranquilised and taken to the nearest wildlife park, that the injured men were rescued. But while in this case adults became the victims, it is the first time that a boy as young as four, has reportedly become victim of this deadly human-animal interface.
How it happened...
The incident occurred when the four-year-old Sarthak Solse, a resident of the Saikheda district of Nashik, went out to play in the sugarcane fields. Although his family was also working in the same field, nobody could anticipate the wild cat hidden in there.
In fact, it was only after the leopard attacked him and Sarthak screamed that his grandmother understood what happened and raised an alarm.
Unfortunately, by the time the family and the locals reached the spot where he was dragged by the wild cat, he was brutally mauled. They then took Sarthak to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead.
The local wildlife authorities were also unable to catch the leopard who ran off on seeing the local crowd. But, this was not the first sighting of a leopard in the area.
According to BR Dhakre, range forest officer, the officials had earlier also placed cages around the area. "We have placed a cage in the fields to trap the leopard. Earlier, two cages were placed only a kilometre away from this spot," he told NDTV, while TOI also reported the same.
Numbers of wild cats in urban areas on the rise
This incident once again brings out the issue of child safety and wild cats roaming freely in urban areas of India, making it quite dangerous for young kids who are unable to protect themselves. As per estimates by the Wildlife Institute of India, India is home to about 14,000 leopards.
With increasing expansion of urban areas, it seems that animal population is losing ground and crossing over to urban areas with ease. In June this year, a 12-year-old girl from Udaipur was reportedly mauled and killed by a leopard, while she was sleeping with her parents.
But while this was a case where the animal caught the girl completely unawares, as parents it is our duty to always prepare kids from incidents that may even be unforeseeable.
Continue reading to see practical things you can do to ensure child safety.
What can parents do to ensure child safety?
Although it is fairly difficult for urban parents to keep an eye on their kids at all times, but there are practical things you can to ensure that your kids are out of reasonable danger.
- Know your surroundings: It is pertinent that you are aware of the area of your residence. You must keep an eye out for wild animal sightings or an increase in crime against children and women over the past few days, months and even years. With this information at hand, you can make an informed decision about the safety of your kids and family.
- Take into consideration your child's age: If your kids are teenagers are old enough to still handle a few things on their own, you can always act as their guide. But if your kids are fairly young, then you need to appoint a nanny or somebody to look after them at all time, especially when they are out to play.
- Teach them about boundaries: The best way to ensure your child's safety is to teach them about boundaries, where they are allowed to go and play and where they are not. This ensures that the kids are in a place where you can keep an eye on them and protect them when need be.
- Inform them about dangers: It's not enough to teach children about 'good touch, bad touch,' it is also important to let them know there are many other dangers out there that they should be aware of. This does not mean that you scare your child, you can simply begin by asking them to be more careful when they step out and avoid interaction with total strangers.
- Tell them you are there: It is also best to always reassure your child that you are there to protect them at all times and if they foresee any kind of danger, they must immediately come to you. This reassurance makes the child more confident and you, more prepared.
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