Lohegaon, 10th February 2024: A dead female leopard was discovered by sugarcane cutting labourers on Thursday evening in a field in Wadgaon Shinde near Lohegaon, Pune. The leopard was found in the
fields of Navnath Khandve.
After getting information, forest officials conducted a preliminary examination, determining that the death of the leopard was a result of a dog attack.
Upon closer inspection, it was observed that the leopard had been missing three claws from its front right leg and one claw from its right hind leg. On Friday, during the post mortem of the leopard’s body, it was discovered that three toenails and a claw had been deliberately severed with a sharp weapon. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, forest officials launched an investigation with the assistance of a dog team.
During the inquiry, suspicion fell upon a group of sugarcane-cutting labourers, and upon further interrogation, a minor boy confessed that he, along with his father and two other minors, had mutilated the leopard’s toenails and claws using knives. The motive behind the act was revealed to be the creation of a necklace from the leopard’s claws.
As a result of the investigation, four toenails of the leopard, a one-foot claw, and three knives used in the crime were recovered from the accused. Kantilal Chander Singh Sonawane, along with the three minors involved, has been taken into custody, and a forest case has been registered against them.
The investigation was conducted under the leadership of Forest Range Officer Suresh Varak and was executed by his team.