Les was on Emergency room duty recently when he met a woman (mid 40s) and her son (around 18 or 19 years old). They had been brought in by a friend of ours because they had been attacked by what he called a “bagh” – a tiger.
Apparently this mom and son had been out in the “jungle” (non-populated area) cutting grass and gathering wood. While they were doing this, the wild cat attacked them. They fought back with their “hasiya” – curved knives used for cutting grass, chopping wood, or pretty much anything! (This, however, is the first time I have heard of someone killing a wild animal in self defense with a hasiya). During the fight, the mom got quite a deep scratch on her face, and both of them sustained bites and other injuries. The mom had to be sent to surgery, but both will recover.
They did, however, kill this bagh. When our friend showed Les the picture of it on his phone, Les saw that it wasn’t a tiger – but was a leopard.
After lunch that day, Les was returning to the hospital to work and saw a big crowd gathered around a police van outside the hospital. Turns out the police had brought the body of the leopard in and everyone was coming out of the hospital in order to see it. Les succumbed to the temptation and joined the crowd. (He has a definite advantage being at least a head taller than everyone else around here!) He said it was a good sized leopard – about the size of an adult goat.
When we were in Chitwan park soon after this, we told the guides that we had a leopard in our district. Their response was, “Well, I’m sure your leopard was smaller than the ones we have here!” (Which we’ve never really seen!) J
We don’t usually get that much excitement over animals here – but we do get some laughs sometimes at the various wildlife we meet between here and the hospital. Here is a small sample: