In a tragic incident, a courageous 14-year old boy saved his young cousin from the jaws of the leopard in Karpatwadi village near Tokawade in Murbad taluka of Thane district.
The cousins Naresh Kaluran Bhala (14) and Harshad Vitthal Bhala (7) were with their grandmother on their farm located near the Murbad forest range. While the woman was busy at work, the boys went in the search of blackberries. The leopard who was hiding in the bushes jumped on the older boy but he quickly moved away. Post which he attacked Harshad and injured him.
The courageous and quick thinking Naresh picked up stones and a stick lying at the spot and started hurling at the leopard forcing it to let go of its grip on Harshad.
Both of them raised an alarm and their grandmother Kanhibai came rushing with a sickle and the leopard fled the spot. The children were rushed to the hospital where they were treated for their injuries.
This was not all, interestingly, a day later the forest team found the same leopard dead around 300 meters away. The carcass was taken to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park for a post mortem examination. It was found that the animal has no external injuries or abnormalities. Pathologists from Parel veterinary college reported the cause of death as old age.
The local police station on Saturday congratulated the children for their brave act. The in-charge of the police station said that Naresh showed unusual courage for such a young lad to save his cousin.