Yet another calf, barely a week old, fell prey to a leopard attack in Cavorim Chandor on Thursday morning. This is the second calf to be killed by a leopard in the last two months, and both the calves belonged to Andrew D’Silva, a dairy farmer from Ghottmorod which lies on the foothills in the village.
In fact, Andrew, who is acknowledged to be the highest milk producer in Salcete taluka, has lost nearly a dozen calves to leopards over the last two years.
In the instant case, the week old calf was tied a little away from the mother as it was constantly drinking milk. On Thursday morning when Andrew and his two staff went to milk the animals, they found the mauled calf.
The leopard first attacked the neck and after puncturing the windpipe tore open the calf’s stomach and devoured the internal organs including the liver and heart. It apparently got disturbed by the arrival of Andrew’s eldest son Merwyn at around 3:15 am when he returned home from his work at a hotel at Cavelossim.
Besides losing calves, Andrew has lost innumerable pigs to the leopards that are prowling in the area for the last couple of years and have not only been heard, but even spotted by some of the villagers.
While one resident of Bindimoll was shocked to find the leopard in his verandah around a year back, John Douglas Coutinho’s pedigree dog that was snatched by a leopard was rescued by his staff Chotu about two years back.
In fact, around four years back, a leopard cub was found dead at Ghottmorod near a water hole where it apparently dragged itself after being shot in the hill.
Andrew has now sought compensation for the loss of the calf and the authorities response is awaited.