KATHMANDU: Police in Nepal's remote western region have launched a hunt for a wild leopard that has killed five people in the last month, local officers said Thursday.
The leopard has been stalking villages on the banks of the Mahakali river and has terrified the local population in the mountainous area, police said.
"Based on villagers' evidence, we believe this leopard has killed five people," police officer Lal Bahadur Saud told AFP, adding the animal was suspected of killing several other humans in recent years.
"We previously deployed police in a search, but it was futile because we didn't know about the animal's behaviour and its habitat," he said. "This time, we have sought the help of forest officials."
Saud said a team of about 80 policemen would try to capture the leopard alive but would shoot it if attacked.
Most of Nepal's leopards are found on the sub-equatorial plains of the southern Terai and in forested hill regions, where contact with humans is a regular problem.