Bhubaneswar: A 65-year-old woman was mauled to death by a leopard in Sunabeda sanctuary in Odisha, a top forest department official said on Monday.
It was earlier said by the department that the woman was killed in an attack by a Royal Bengal Tiger on Sunday.
“It was a leopard and not a tiger,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), S K Popli said on Monday.
Sanamati Barik (65) of Jalamadei village in Nuapada district had gone to collect firewood near her home on Sunday when she was attacked by the big cat and was dragged her away.
When she did not return home, her family members launched a frantic search and found her partially-eaten body in the jungle on Monday morning.
Initially the Sunabeda Wildlife forester Siba Prasad Khamari said that based on preliminary investigation it appeared to be an attack by a royal Bengal tiger.
“From the pattern of eating the flesh and sucking of blood from the body, it seems the attack was not by a leopard but by a Royal Bengal Tiger,” he said.
It was negated by the PCCF (Wildlife).
The presence of Royal Bengal tigers in the forest is not confirmed. But leopards are known to exist in it.
Popli said forest department officers are monitoring the movement of the leopard and local people have been asked not to enter the forest.
The woman’s family will be given compensation as per the law, he added.