Leopard Injures Eight People in East Indian Village

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Eight people are injured in eastern India after a leopard wandered into their village. The cat has yet to be caught, but elephants have been brought in to assist.

A leopard strayed into a village in the Indian state of West Bengal on Monday. Eight people were injured as villagers and forest guards tried to tame the wild cat.

The leopard sneaked into the fields close by the forest in the Siliguri district of West Bengal and attacked a farm owner and his wife.

[Sinazul Islam, Local Villager]:
"Eight people have been injured as far as we can tell. Five from the forest department and three villagers. The owner of the field and his wife, who had come to the field to work, were the first to be attacked by the leopard."

Villagers and forest guards with rifles are trying to catch the leopard, which is still at large.

[Niranjita Mitra, Assistant Wildlife Warden]:
"We are trying to capture it but it hides in the betel leaves field."

Mitra says they brought in two elephants from an adjacent wildlife sanctuary to get closer to the leopard and try to tranquillize it.

Man-animal conflicts triggered by rapid urbanization are on the increase.

Wild animals like leopards, tigers and elephants often stray into human settlements, sometimes causing havoc.

India's Environment Minister has recently issued new guidelines on dealing with the complex issue of man-animal conflict.

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