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A stray dog walks on a road in Lucknow, in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on Monday.

Feral dog packs kill 6 Indian children

Mon, May 07, 2018 15:07

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Roaming packs of feral dogs have killed six children in the last week in north India, terrifying villagers who have begun keeping their children home from school and killing any dogs they encounter. At least two dozen more children have been injured.

The killings have occurred in and around the town of Sitapur, said senior police officer Anand Kulkarni. Many of the attacks occurred when children were out gathering mangoes or when they left their homes to use outhouse toilets, he said. Many homes in the area lack indoor plumbing.

Twelve children between the ages 5 and 12 have been killed in dog attacks in the area since November, officials say.

It was not clear how many dogs were involved in the attacks, but India has millions of strays that wander the streets in even the most exclusive neighbourhoods. The feral dogs often survive on leftover food set in alleys for them, but also face relentless cruelty by people, and regularly fight other dogs over territory. While injuries from dog attacks are fairly common, a string of fatalities in one area is rare.

Some in the area believe the attacks began after a nearby illegal slaughterhouse was closed, making the dogs more aggressive after they were left without a major source of food.

Villagers say the dog packs are terrifying.

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