25-year-old woman fights off leopard to save herself, daughter

A woman allegedly fought off an adolescent leopard that attacked her when she was walking with her two-year-old daughter in a remote, woody and ravine-laced region of Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district.

The leopard almost mauled her but the 25-year-old Asha kept fighting with her bare hands until it left her with serious wounds after 20 minutes, according to villagers.

The alleged attack happened in Bhaisai village of Morena, about 475km north of Bhopal. Asha was on the way to her parent’s village, located close by.

This is perhaps the first instance of leopard attacking a human in the district, especially in the village located 150km from the Palpur-Kuno wildlife sanctuary. The area is full of ravines and leopards are said to be spotted there.

“I had just left the village and was walking beside a crop field when the leopard pounced on me,” said Asha on Saturday, sharing her experience over the phone from the district hospital in Morena.

She fell down but managed to stand up clutching her daughter. The animal then circled around and repeatedly tried to jump on her.

The desperate women caught the leopard in a chokehold and didn’t let it go despite the animal making deep gashes on her arms and shoulders with its sharp claws. But it could not bite.

Asha was shouting for help all along and her screams alerted villagers in the fields. As they came running, the leopard bolted.

District forest officer AK Ansari said a team has gone to the village but it hasn’t found any pugmarks.

“We are officially not saying it was a leopard attack. We are sending a night patrol and it will stay put in the village for some time,” he said.

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