00:11 GMT03 June 2020
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    A 35-year-old Buddhist monk was killed Tuesday while he was meditating in a protected forest set aside for leopards.

    Indian police said Thursday that the body of Rahul Walke Bodhi had been found after the monk was attacked during meditation earlier that week in the forest in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

    "His badly mauled body was found further into the forest, indicating the animal tried to drag it along," Krisna Tiwari, a senior police officer in the region, told AFP.

    Walke had been seated beneath a tree in the protected Ramdegi forest and was engaged in prayers when the big cat pounced on him. Two other monks with him escaped without harm, alerting police about the incident.

    According to the BBC, Walke had been attached to a Buddhist temple inside the protected forest, but had wandered far from its grounds on the day of the attack, which forest officials have warned is dangerous.

    "I would like to tell everyone not to go inside the forest," GP Narawane, a forest official, told BBC Marathi. He told the news service that officials had set up cages and a camera trap to try and catch the animal.

    Mumbai has indicated it will pay the monk's family 1.2 million rupees, or roughly $16,762, as compensation.

    AFP noted that four deaths in the last month around the forest have been attributed to attacks by big cats. There are also dozens of Bengal tigers in the forest.

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    Tags:
    forest, killed, Buddhist monk, leopard, Maharashtra
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