|Villagers beat a full-grown leopard to death with sticks in the Sivasagar district of India's northeastern Assam state|
A leopard that injured five villagers in a savage attack in India has been beaten to death with sticks and burned.
Forest authorities said that the shocking incident took place in the Kalgaon area, in the Sivasagar district of the northeastern Assam state, as the villagers were collecting firewood.
The seven-year-old, fully-grown leopard is reported to have suddenly charged the group in a desperate attack.
|A person can be given a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of 10,000 rupees (£106) for killing a leopard|
Five of the group were injured in the attack.
Indian leopards are under threat of extinction due to poaching for their skin. Villagers also regularly kill the cats when they stray near settlements.
A female leopard was beaten to death just weeks ago in a village in West Bengal’s Purulia district.
Villagers were reported to have spotted the animal near the village and attempted to chase it.
|It is illegal to hunt or attack a leopard in India under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, as they are an endangered species|
But in its fear, the animal ran into the village instead of away from it, and entered a cowshed.
It was quickly cornered by hundreds of villagers and attacked with sticks and axes, and killed.
The leopard’s tail was severed during the attack, and its paws chopped off, after which its body was suspended from a tree.
Leopard populations are often found quite close to settlements and even in semi-developed areas in India as their forest habitat disappears.
Under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (IWPA), hunting or attacking a leopard is illegal as it is an endangered species. The offence carries a sentence of up to three years of imprisonment or a fine of 10,000 rupees (£106).
The forest department has also been trying to set up traps so the leopards can be stopped from entering human settlements.
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