A leopard attacked a girl in Bagan village, Galiyat on Tuesday, critically wounding her, police and hospital officials said.
Muhammad Pervez, father of seven-year-old Sumayya Bibi, told police that she was collecting firewood in the nearby forest when she was attacked.
She cried for help. Pervez and a group of villagers rallied to where she was to see the animal trying to drag her off deeper into the forest. They threw rocks at the leopard and fired warning shots, scaring it away.
They took Sumayya to Ayub Medical Complex in Abbottabad, where she was admitted to the neurosurgical ward. Doctors said she was injured in the back of her neck and lower parts of the body. A doctor on duty said she is still unconscious after the attack, describing her condition as “critical”, due to the injuries to her neck and head.
An official in the wildlife department said that heavy snowfall in winters forces leopards to move downhill and nearer to the populated areas in search of food. Sometime when they fail to find a prey they attack the cattle and people, he added.
Three villagers including two children were killed in leopard attacks in the area last year, according to official sources. Six more were injured. The villagers also lost a number of cattle to the attacks.
There are about 40 pairs of leopard in the Galiyat region, according to the wildlife department.
The villagers demanded that the authorities take measures to trap the leopards as their mobility has been restricted due to the undeterred movement of these animals.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2013.