Leopards lose habitat to humans in India

January 19, 2007

Residents of rural towns in India have killed two rare leopards after the cats left their mountain habitats presumably to search for food.

The incidents highlight the growing conflict between the animals and humans sparked by India's economic boom and rapid population growth, The Times of London reports.

In the latest incidents residents of Nashik clubbed a leopard to death with sticks and iron bars after the cat strayed into a residential area and injured four people.

Local television showed footage of the terrified animal running across a city park as dozens of people chased it.

A second leopard was followed and beaten to death in a mountainous region of Jammu and Kashmir after it injured two people in town.

It is estimated there are more than 14,000 leopards in India.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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