Ferocious Leopard Rips Off Man's Scalp in India

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By Arlene Paredes | January 11, 2012 5:06 PM EST

A leopard wandered off into a residential neighborhood in an Indian city and attacked people, killing a lawyer and injuring at least three others including a man who even tried to save the wild animal from getting killed.

The stray leopard ripped off the scalp of a man who tried to protect it from policemen who were already aiming to shoot.

Pintu Dey, an Indian casual labourer in his 40s, is recovering in an Assam hospital after his nightmarish ordeal.

Dey's two children were in the house when the incident happened. When he saw some policemen aiming to shoot the leopard, he ran to the leopard's rescue and tried to stop the policemen from firing.

"I pleaded against killing the cat and literally stood between the policemen and the leopard like a shield, and all of a sudden I found myself attacked and blood splattered all over," Dey told the media.

The leopard also bit Dey on his hands and legs, and he suffered a fractured hand on top of the multiple bites.

"I would say the injury is really severe as he lost a lot of blood and his scalp wound is indeed serious," said a doctor in the Wintrobe Hospital.

The ferocious cat attacked three other people in Assam's capital, right in the centre of Guwahati, reports said.

While Dey survived the fierce leopard's attack, one victim, former journalist and lawyer Deva Kumar Das, was not as fortunate.

Witnesses said the leopard attacked Das, a 50-year-old lawyer, while he was talking to someone on his cellphone outside his house on Saturday evening.

He was rushed to a hospital, but he died from his injuries the next day.

Two other victims are recovering and stable in hospitals over the stray leopard's vicious attacks.

Dey's efforts to save the leopard did not wind up in vain.

The leopard was later tranquillised by India's forest officials and taken to the Assam State Zoo in Guwahati, before setting it free in a tiger reserve in Manas on Monday.

Dey took the opportunity to call on the Indian government for assistance when the media spoke to him.

"I wish the government could take care of my medical expenses as my financial condition is not sound," Dey said.

Thousands of people are attacked by wildlife in India each year, with tigers, leopards, elephants and snakes the most dangerous, the AAP reported.

The most notable cause of the straying of animals is the decline in number of their natural habitats, environmentalists say.

Indian conservationists have been calling for the government to pay attention to their wildlife's natural habitats, specifically the dense forest cover in areas surrounding cities to prevent dangerous animals from straying into populated residential areas.

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