Nurjal Thallifi was the first of many to chase leopards in Sri Lanka in 2015. A young woman in the remote local area of Mampuru in the Lamella Range, near the main town of Colombo, Nurjal and her friend Raja Dias rushed to a jeep to watch as a leopard, spotted scurrying out of a gully along a dirt track, headed for the edge of a rice field.
The leopard leapt out of the weed and ran towards Raja, knocking him to the ground. Nurjal grabbed a stick and began chasing the leopard.
“I climbed out the jeep and jumped on top of the animal and grabbed a bamboo stick with which I began to fight it,” Nurjal said in an interview with Tamizdat.
When the animal dropped the stick, it couldn’t follow the movement.
“I put the stick in its mouth so it couldn’t swallow it so I approached and dragged the leopard up from where Raja fell,” she told ERRC Television. “I bit and squeezed its neck repeatedly,” she told ERRC, crying.
The leopard leaped back up the hillside to a thicket and ran away into the jungle.
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