Game Ranger's Toddler Eaten Alive by Leopard

Tragedy unfolded in a Uganda national park
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2018 2:43 PM CDT
One of two leopards are released at the Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, Wednesday, Jan 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

(Newser) – A horrifying story out of Uganda, where a toddler was grabbed and eaten by a leopard Friday at the Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The 2-year-old boy's mother is a game ranger at the park and was working, and the boy was with his nanny in the kitchen of the family's home in the park's staff quarters, near a doorway. "He was seated with the maid when the leopard grabbed and ran with him," the boy's father tells the Kampala Post. But a spokesperson for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) says the boy followed the nanny outdoors: "The maid was not aware the child followed her. She heard the kid scream for help, she intervened but it was too late the leopard had vanished with it in the bush." The staff quarters are reportedly in a protected area that is popular with tourists, USA Today reports, but the family's home is said to be unfenced.

A search team ultimately found some of the boy's bones, including his skull, and they were buried over the weekend. The boy's father says he expects compensation from the UWA and that the organization should do more to protect staff and their families. "UWA gave us the coffin," he says. "I have not talked to them about the incident but I would expect something reasonable to compensate me, although my son's life is gone." Leopard attacks on humans are rare in Uganda. The UWA spokesperson says efforts are being made to locate the leopard and possibly relocate it. "The hunt is on with the intention of capturing the leopard and removing it from the wild because once it has eaten human flesh, the temptations are high to eat another human being, it becomes dangerous," he says, per the Telegraph.

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