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12-year-old fights leopard to save younger brother

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Panic grips Budgam’s Samsan village after leopard attacks

Budgam: In a daring act of bravery, a twelve-year-old boy risked his life to rescue his younger brother from a leopard attack in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

The incident happened as the two brothers were playing cricket in their yard during iftar time on Monday evening.

“We were playing when suddenly I saw something moving suspiciously near our house. Before I knew it, the leopard pounced on my little brother,” recounted Aqib Javed, a fourth-grade student.

With no time to spare and his hands empty, Aqib acted instinctively. “I had to save him, he’s my brother,” he said. “I grabbed a ball from my pocket and threw it at the leopard, hitting its eye and diverting its attention away from my brother.”

The situation remained dire as the leopard prepared to attack again, but Aqib’s friend intervened. “My friend threw a brick at the leopard, and we made a lot of noise which attracted people, and together we scared the leopard away,” Aqib recounted.

Reflecting on the incident, Aqib expressed relief that his brother’s life was spared. “I feared the worst, especially after imagining the leopard attacking a girl last week in this same village in which she lost her life.”

However, the family struggled to get help due to the lack of network facilities in their village. “We couldn’t reach the driver to take my brother to the hospital,” the family said, adding that they face difficulties due to the non-availability of a network facility.

“We’re scared to even step outside. We need the government to ensure we have network facilities and traps to catch these leopards,” they appealed.

Villagers appreciated Aqib for his courageous act. They called for taking care of the kids and not letting them venture out, especially during the evening.

Meanwhile, panic gripped the entire Samsan village in Budgam after two recent leopard attack incidents have occurred in the vicinity within a week.

The locals however, urged the administration to capture the leopard and ensure their safety.

The first attack occurred last Monday in which a minor girl was killed while a minor boy was injured in the second attack that took place just a week later in the same village.

BO wildlife department Budgam said that the department has been active in the village since the first incident, intensifying search operations and increasing manpower to catch the leopard.

“The efforts are on to catch the leopard.  The dense bushes and Karewas in the area provide hiding spots for the leopard, but we are vigilant,” he said.

Officials have advised residents to stay indoors, especially during morning and evening hours, to avoid further attacks until the leopard is captured.

The rise in human-animal conflicts has heightened fear among the villagers, prompting urgent appeals for action from the administration.

“The recent leopard attacks have left us trembling with fear. We can’t even step out of our homes without worrying about the safety of our children. It’s a nightmare that we never imagined facing in our own village.”  said Javed, a resident of Samsan village, whose son was injured in the attack.

“We demand immediate action from the authorities to catch this leopard before it claims more innocent lives,” Mehmooda, another concerned villager said. (KNO)


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