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Kashmir’s Sher Khan wrestles with leopard to save his sleeping kids

Srinagar, Apr 27: At 5:30 in the morning on Friday, Ghulam Ahmad Sheikh of Awoora, Kupwara, was in the kitchen when he noticed a leopard moving towards the room where his children were sleeping.
The door to the room was open. Inside, Sheikh’s 10-year-old son and two daughters, seven years old and one year old, were sleeping, unaware of the approaching danger.
The 45-year-old father stepped out to save his children, knowing pretty well what it could cost. He pounced upon the beast.
“The animal attacked my head and tried to grab my neck,” Sheikh, while lying motionless on a bed in the SMHS Hospital’s anti-rabies ward, explained.
“I thrust my arm into the leopard throat to stop him from attacking my children. And it worked; the animal turned quiet.”
Sheikh said he and his family, witnessing the encounter, screamed for help. His brothers, who live nearby, rushed for help, he said.
“It was very terrifying. For a second, I could not believe that I will survive,” he said.
One of his brothers, Mohammad Dilawar Ahmad, living in the same village, said he saw Sheikh’s hand inside the beast’s mouth when he arrived to help.
“My brother was struggling to save himself and his family. I grabbed the leopard’s legs and tried to overpower it. In the process, I too received injuries in my right arm,” he said.
Ahmad said Ghulam Mohammad, their third brother, also came to help.
“The animal was very powerful and violent. After our third brother arrived, we wrapped it in a sheet and locked the room,” he said.
The brothers then killed the animal.
Sheikh was shifted to a hospital in Kupwara, where from he, after receiving first aid, was shifted to the SMHS Hospital here for treatment.
Later, he was shifted to the Bones and Joints Hospital at Barzulla here.
“He has grave injuries and multiple fractures. That is why he has been shifted to the Bones and Joints Hospital,” said Farooq Ahmad, an official at the SMHS Hospital.
The doctors in the hospital said Sheikh was not able to move due to injuries in his head and fractured limbs.
“It is a miracle that he has survived and saved his family as well. His bravery is appreciable. He shall get an award,” a doctor said.