According to Pradeep Kumar, wildlife warden, victim Sabbati Devi, 62, from nearby village Khadkhadi had gone to collect fire wood on Wednesday evening. Her family members complained to the officials of RTR about the woman going missing. However, it had was very late in the night and dark by that time so the forest team began the search hunt for her in the wee hours on Thursday. Her body with one leg missing was found close to the bushes of the Haridwar range of RTR near the village.
“Had the woman been killed by the leopard, there would have been bite marks on the neck of the body. This is also the area rife with the presence of elephant herds where she has been killed,” said Kumar adding that despite repeated warning to the villagers, the rural women continue to go into such susceptible part of the forest to collect wood and get killed.
Director Sanatan too expressed concern that they have installed signages at various places to caution people not to roam close or enter into the forest but they don’t pay heed.