An Indian forest ranger went to desperate lengths to save himself from a leopard.
The incident occurred at Kuruli village in the Kantabanji forest range in Odisha, India, last week. The leopard had apparently wandered into the village and had entered homes and climbed on top of their roofs. Authorities were called in after the deadly animal attacked a teenager in the village, according to the Mirror.
Officer Vijaynanda Khunta came to Kuruli to catch the leopard — but the animal almost succeeded in capturing him.
In a cell phone video, Khunta can be seen on top of a thatched roof looking for the animal. It had reportedly got inside one of the buildings and the officers were trying to trap it there. However, the big cat proved to be far smarter and suddenly emerged onto the building’s roof. Khunta, whose back was turned toward the animal, didn’t see the leopard appear behind him but, fortunately, realized it a split second before the beast could pounce on him.
Taking a leap of faith, Khunta jumped off the roof and managed to avoid the animal. Villagers quickly ran out of the way as the leopard leapt down and then apparently ran off. However, after 12 hours, it was announced the animal was caught alive and relocated to the Nandankanan Zoo in Bhubaneswar.
As for Khunta, he sustained a few non-life threatening injuries for his efforts. Beside him, two other people were also slightly injured in the incident.
Leopard and lion attacks are very common in Indian villages, especially those that skirt forests. Interactions between felines and humans tend to increase during the summer season or during droughts when the animals’ prey becomes scarce.
Shrinking leopard habitats and growing human population has also exacerbated the problem.