Animal attack as probable cause of death of Dena

Chief Forest Officer, Gyeltshen Drukpa, said the fang marks on the neck of the deceased 9-year-old girl, Dena Koirala, a class 2 student in Dechencholing Higher secondary school, could confirm it to be the cause of her death.

However, it is yet to ascertained which wild animal had exactly inflicted the fatal bites.

The RBP is also inclined to agree on this given the available evidence but they have said that they will not close any avenues of investigation.

On 12 December, based on a medical forensic report, police ruled out rape in the death as there was no sperm samples found on her or her clothes.

Police asked assistance from the forest division, whereby a thorough study was made on the animal fang marks and bites as the probable cause of death.

“We feel that it was a leopard that has attacked the deceased because as a trained forester, we could somehow ascertain the habit of a leopard. The leopard directly attacks the neck of their prey and once they confirm their prey is dead, they always attack the best part of the meat in the body.”

In this case the animal after inflicting the neck bite for the possible kill had eaten the thigh portion of the body.

The leopard would try to cover the prey carcass if they sense any disturbances, he said, adding that in this case some part of the body was found covered by dried leaves. “With all this, we felt that it could be a leopard. However, we cannot declare that it was a leopard because we need more evidence,” he said.

The forest official tried to trace the paw marks but they could not get it due to the dry season. Nonetheless, he said that they are looking at everything, especially among the cat family.

The alternative to get evidence is by setting up a camera trap to see the presence of wild animals around the area, he said. They have set up two cameras around the area but they did not get anything as of now. “We will monitor and keep on track if we capture any wild animal,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said, that they have traced a piece of cloth from a barbed wire fence which is about 5 to 6 meter away from the crime scene. He said, “We thought it may be from the deceased’s jacket. So it was sent to the forensic department for a confirmation. The fence was too low for any person to pass through.”

If the piece of cloth sample collected matches the jacket worn by the deceased then they can declare that some animal had dragged her to that place, he added.

A leopard is strong enough to hold and drag a prey double of its own weight. He also said that some dogs have also gotten to her body looking at the bites on her face and nose.

The mother of the deceased girl had sent her to get the bankbook from their house on 9 December at around 10:30 am, whereby she never reached home. The key to her house was recovered from the deceased girl’s pants pocket. The case is still under investigation.

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