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Leopard kills monk meditating in forest

BBC News logo BBC News 12/13/2018
Rahul Walke © Abhishek Bhatpalliwar Rahul Walke

A monk meditating in a forest in the Indian state of Maharashtra has died in a leopard attack, officials say.

The man, identified as Rahul Walke, had been "meditating under a tree" in the Tadoba forest, which is a protected tiger reserve, officials told PTI.

Walke had been attached to a Buddhist temple which is inside the forest, but he had walked to a spot quite far away from it to meditate.

Forest officials say they warned the monks against going too far inside.

"I would like to tell everyone not to go inside the forest," GP Narawane, a forest official, told BBC Marathi.

However, there are now plans to capture the leopard. "We have set up two cages and a camera trap, and we will try to tranquilise the animal," Mr Narawane said.

State government officials have said they would give Mr Walke's family 1.2m rupees ($16,762; £13,280).

A monk belonging to the same temple told BBC Marathi that they had seen the animal attacking Mr Walke when they had visited his meditation spot to give him food on Wednesday morning.

He said he went away to seek help but by the time he returned with others, Mr Walke was already dead.

The Tadoba reserve is home to an estimated 88 tigers. It is also home to a large variety of other animals, including leopards, sloth bears, hyenas and honey badgers.


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