Indian wolf terror
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, August/September 1996:
LUCKNOW, India––Uttar Pradesh
chief forest conservator Ashok Singh pledged
July 5 to quickly exterminate a wolf pack
blamed for killing and disemboweling more
than 30 small children since March in Uttar
Pradesh state, northern India.
“It was initially difficult to track
down the wolves’ hideout,” Ashok Singh said,
“but now that it has been done, we are sure to
kill the beasts.” The lair was found in the
Kusfara forest on July 2 near the half-eaten
remains of a two-year-old, who like many
other victims was snatched from bed in an
open-air hut. One wolf was killed at the scene.
Ashok Singh attributed the attacks to
a hyena or wolf all along, but crews with tranquilizer
guns found no such creatures near the
three villages where the attacks occurred.
Ashok Singh then posted a reward of $150 for
whoever killed the animal responsible. By
June, 350 police officers, wildlife officials,
and marksmen sought the killers, with orders
to shoot any dog-like animal in the forest.
That, reported Reuter, “triggered
protests from animal rights groups, who said
forest department officials should instead lay
traps for jackals, hyenas, and wolves,” to
catch the animals alive and better distinguish
the guilty from the innocent.
At least some of the killings probably
were by other wildlife: in the Himlayan district
of Uttar Pradesh, said the Statesman newspaper,
a leopard in mid-June killed his or her
15th victim, an 11-year-old girl, and has
injured 28 more people.
But many villagers blamed criminal
traffickers in human organs for transplant.
“The injury marks on the victims’
bodies indicate the flesh has been torn open
with a sharp-edged weapon. This certainly is
not the doing of a wild animal,” marksman
A.N. Singh told Asian Age.
As the attacks continued, at least 16
suspect humans were lynched, said the Press
Trust of India. Two more people were killed
by police trying to disperse a mob on June 25,
at a Jaunpur district village, 90 miles southeast
of Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh capital.