A “brave” Indian widow survived a leopard attack by killing the animal with a scythe after a 30-minute struggle, a doctor said Wednesday. Kamla Devi, 56, was seriously injured in the attack, which happened as she was working in a field near her village in the far northern state of Uttarakhand, said P.D. Sharma, head doctor at the Government Medical College in the town of Srinagar where she is being treated.
“She has compound fractures in her forearms and many, many bites and cuts to her skin but she is out of danger,” Sharma told NBC News. “She was fighting with the leopard for half an hour until she killed it with a farm implement called a darati, which is like a scythe. She was very brave." Leopards are common in the area but normally attack other animals rather than humans, he added.
The leopard attack happened on Sunday and Devi was brought to the hospital by relatives on Monday. "At first, I was terrified. But, then I gathered my courage to fight back. I promised myself that this is not my last day," Devi was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times, which said it had interviewed her by telephone from her hospital bed. The newspaper said Devi’s husband died a few years ago due to illness and her only son is working in the hotel industry in Delhi.
- Alastair Jamieson