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SRIKAKULAM: As many as 330 sheep and a jungle cat were crushed to death under the wheels of a train at Anantavaram village near Palavalasa in Mandasa mandal 80km from Srikakulam in the early hours of Wednesday. The jungle cat attacked the flock of sheep and chased them onto the railway tracks, leading to the accident. A villager who had gone to the site to complete his morning ablutions found hundreds of sheep lying dead on both sides of the tracks with chopped body parts strewn all over the place and on the blood-splattered tracks. When the owners of the dead sheep were informed of their loss, they tried to jump in front of a train that was then crossing the area but were thwarted by the villagers. The sheep... Read more...
belonged to four farmers of Korlam village which lies 6km away from the accident spot. The loss from the mishap is being pegged at Rs 15 lakh with one Appala Naidu suffering bearing the brunt. Initially, villagers thought that the animal that had chased the sheep was a leopard given its spotted hide. Then, revenue authorities who visited the spot said that the animal could be a hyena. But Kasibugga forest ranger Arun Prakash, who is investigating the case, identified it as a jungle cat. Sources said that the sheep-owners had left their unattended flocks to graze in the area on Tuesday night. According to forest officials, hyenas, bears and leopards inhabit the area, which is heavily forested. Anantavaram village, which was once a haven for People’s War Group ultras, falls on the Chennai-Howrah main railway line.