Packs of wild dogs maul 6 children to death in India

Packs of wild dogs maul 6 children to death in India
Six children have been killed in a series of violent wild dog attacks in Sitapur, India, leaving residents fearing further bloodshed from the packs of feral animals.

A 10-year-old boy was mauled to death by a stray dogs in Taalgaon on Saturday. His death brought the number of children killed by dogs in the Sitapur region of Uttar Pradesh to six in five days. Another child was injured in Biharipur on the same day, NDTV reports.

Sitapur residents fear further canine attacks, and attendance in schools has reportedly dropped as a result.

Three children died last Tuesday after being mauled by dogs in Khairabad. Last Saturday two children were mauled to death and two more were injured in the district. Police say 12 children have been killed by dogs since November, although locals say the number is 17.

Residents and police have increased patrols in an effort to keep the stray dogs away, the Hindustan Times reports. “We have formed multiple police teams and equipped them with drones, to cover larger areas, in a bid to trap the feral dogs.” Uttar Pradesh director general of police (DGP) OP Singhuttar Pradesh said. “Night vision devices will also be used for patrolling during the night.”

"The attacks on school children are very unfortunate. Our operation is on and very soon all the stray dogs will be caught," local government spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, as cited by India Today. "However, it is very difficult to identify between stray and normal dogs."

The uptick in dog attacks have been put down to a shortage of food for the animals, particularly since the recent closure of an illegal abattoir in the area.

"Earlier when the abattoirs were operational, the dogs used to get food in the form of leftovers,” RK Singh of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) explained, NDTV reports. "Before this, such aggressive nature of dogs was not reported. And, it would be unfair to call the Sitapur dogs as man-eaters. This is primarily a case of man-animal conflict," he added.

According to the district administration, there are thought to be about 100 such dogs in the area, and a canine catching team was called in after last week’s attacks. In total, 22 dogs have been captured and sent to Lucknow to be studied, while locals have killed an additional 15.

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