A father’s heroics saved the lives of two girls from a predating leopard in Fulpur village early Sunday morning. It was the kind of feat deemed possible only in the realm of fiction.
A feline entered the house of Ankil Damor, a labourer from Dahod. Forest officials said the leopard advanced towards the girls who were sleeping in a mud house.
Prashant Tomar, assistant conservator of forest, Devgadh Baria, recounted the bone-chilling incident. “He (Damor) went out of the house to answer nature’s call leaving the door open. When he walked back within a few minutes, Damor was bewildered to see a leopard holding his three-year-old daughter Vansha in its jaws,” Tomar told a national daily.
A shocked Damor impulsively charged towards the leopard that was trying to flee. Undaunted, the braveheart father stood in the feline’s path, forcing it to drop Vansha.
The leopard, however, was not to be outdone. It made another attempt to swoop in on a prey, but this time targeted the other girl, five-year-old Kavya. Somehow, the cat momentarily escaped with the howling child in its jaws. But a determined Damor didn’t give up. He followed the animal in the dark forest and traced it.
After pushing and shoving the cat around, he used his presence of mind. Damor flung a piece of cloth at the leopard who instantly panicked, dropped the girl, and disappeared into the bushes close by.
“Damor caught up with the leopard and battled it bare-handedly to save his child amid the pitch darkness. It was a tremendously daring act to take on a wild cat in its territory,” Tomar said.
Meanwhile, the neighbours rushed to the spot, hearing the screams. Damor reportedly suffered minor injuries. The girls, the report added, were receiving treatment.
A team of forest officials reached the spot and kept cages to trap the cat.
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