Devika Pradhan | Intern

Earlier this month, a farmer in Tintaley in Lhamoidzingkha, Dagana, lost seven goats in one night.

The owner, Dil Maya Limbu, said there was a power outage that night and she heard the goats bleating in the middle of the night. “I woke up my children and went to check with a torchlight.”

She said they only saw a pair of sparkly eyes in the dark. “The shed was filled with blood and carcasses. Out of the 11 goats I owned, seven were killed. One died the next morning.”

She suspects that a leopard could have attacked the livestock. “This is not the first incident. There were three similar cases in the village.”

Local residents said they live in constant conflict with elephants and wild dogs, and leopards are making life difficult for them now.

Lhamoidzingkha livestock officer Kishor Kumar Rai said while wild dogs come in groups and attack from behind, leopards tear the flesh and damage the windpipe of animals.

Although the predator has not been positively ascertained, the owner and the livestock officer suspect a leopard to have killed the goats based on the deep marks it left on the carcasses.

They also found a vague pugmark near the shed during their inspection, but it wasn’t clear because of the heavy rain.

Three similar cases were reported in Tsangay and Devitar village in Lhamoidzingkha, but people couldn’t report the attack to the livestock officer because of the lockdown.

“Most people don’t report it unless it involves a huge number,” Kishor Kumar said.

The four cases have been reported to gewog and have been forwarded to the dzongkhag forest division.