A leopard, believed to have killed three people since October 4, was captured by the forest officials of the south Kheri division, forest officials said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, it walked into the cage set up by the forest department in the lure of a bait.
Forest officials said that the big cat had been captured on cameras installed in the area several times before but it somehow managed to give a slip to patrolling teams on every occasion.
Sanjay Biswal, divisional forest officer (DFO), south Kheri forest division, said on Wednesday , “However, on Tuesday, the leopard walked into the cage set up near the Jamnabad Farm in the Gola forest range. This is the place where it had made its last human kill on October 20.”
The official added, “Frequent movements of the leopard in the area and its capture from the spot of its last kill, suggest that this is the same that killed three people on October 4, 18, and 20.”
Biswal added, “The leopard is 7-8 years old. It is being examined by veterinary experts. No apparent physical deformities or injuries, barring a minor injury mark on its head, were found on its body during the examination. Therefore, it is difficult to tell why the leopard turned to killing humans. Usually, big cats prey on humans only when they become too weak to hunt.”
The officer said that the captured leopard would be sent to a zoo soon.
Forest officials had started a combing operation in the area after the leopard killed 25-year Yadunath, a watchman, on October 4.
Later, on October 18, the big cat killed 12-year-old Rama Kant near Rasoolabad jungles, and then on October 20, it preyed on 50-year-old watchman Hira Lal.