Three Buddhist monks were meditating under a tree in a forest about 510 miles west of the state capital of Maharashtra, Mumbai, within a protected reserve for leopards and tigers and where four other fatal attacks have occurred in recent weeks. The monks had ignored warnings from officials about going too far into the forest, police said.
One of the monks, Rahul Walke Bodhi, aged 35, was attacked by a leopard and dragged into the forest. He was badly mauled and his body was found by the police. He had been using the same place for morning prayers for a month before he was killed. Two other monks were praying with him but they managed to escape and they alerted the police.
The monks were taking part in an annual prayer conference. There have been other fatal attacks by leopards in the area. In a previous incident, a shopkeeper Sandeep Arjun was killed outside his stall on the outskirts of the forest. Officials don’t know whether the same leopard is responsible for the attacks. Tigers and leopards have been responsible for three more deaths around the reserve in the past month.
It is reported that leopards kill hundreds of people annually in India. There are an estimated 12,000 to 14,000 leopards in India but the population is declining due to urban expansion, and the shrinking of their forest habitat and of course a population increase of people causing increased conflict between leopard and people.
An estimated 431 leopards were killed in 2017: most of them by poachers for their body parts. This article is about the conflict between people and wildlife in India as wild life habitats are gradually eroded by people.
P.S. I am told that Buddhists believe that spaying and neutering domestic cats is wrong and bad karma. If you do it you’ll be reincarnated as a cat. This leads to many unwanted cats who live tough lives.