A 'poaching' case has been registered against unknown persons for "killing and skinning" a leopard in Kulgam's Khud Hanjipora village, officials said on Saturday.
The incident of allegedlyskinning the animal after it was "beaten" to death had evoked widespreadcriticism on social networking sites.
OnApril 3, a video showing a "bleeding" leopard lying on the ground while a groupof people purportedly using blades to skin the animal was shared across socialnetworking sites. In the video, a voice was heard asking the group to refrainfrom "skinning the animal."
WildlifeWarden, south division, Abdul Rouf Zargar said the incident occurred in thevillage near Noorabad on April 2 at around 2:30pm.
"Five days before theincident, a female leopard had ventured into the village and injured somechildren. On April 2, it came again in the village and soon a crowd pouncedupon it. The people attacked the animal. It was beaten to death withsticks," said Zargar.
Zargarsaid the official from the department had arrived in the village soon afterreceiving the information about the incident on the same day.
Hesaid the body of the animal was recovered from the village near a gorge."The animal was about 30 percent skinned, while 70 percent of its hide wasintact," he said, adding that the "carcass was buried at Devsar, followingan autopsy, which showed injuries in head and other vital organs of theanimal."
Another official from theWildlife Department said they have registered a case of "poaching"against the people involved in the "killing and skinning" of the animal.
However,the official said it doesn't seem that there was an intention of "poaching".
"We have seenpoachers hardly leave anything of the killed wild animal," he said.
He said, "It seems thepeople who skinned the animal did it in blind faith."
"There is a beliefthat keeping small portions of leopard hide under the newborn' s pillow, keepssupernatural powers away from the baby and also helps to have sound sleep incase of sleeplessness. It seems there was this motive," he said.
A police officer from thedistrict confirmed that FIR has been lodged under Wildlife Protection Act,while the investigation has been taken up.