Leopard kills man in northern India

A leopard attacked and killed a 75-year-old man in a remote mountainous region in north-western India, police said today.

Wildlife officials were searching for the leopard, which was also blamed for attacking and wounding a six-year old boy last week, and were ordered to kill it, said Rajouri district police officer JP Singh.

While leopards are a protected species in India, wildlife officials will kill them if they are a proven threat to humans, he said.

The man, identified as Sita Ram, had gone out of his village early yesterday into the densely-forested mountains near the India-Pakistan border when he was attacked, Singh said. His body was found by villagers.

There are an estimated 14,000 leopards in India, but their numbers have been dwindling as they fall victims to poachers who prize their pelts.

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