More than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2022, according to data released this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The year of 2022 was the deadliest on record for drug overdoses, which claimed the lives of an estimated 109,680 people, according to numbers posted Wednesday by the CDC. Overdose deaths in the United States surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. The death number rose from 71,000 in 2019 to over 90,000 in 2020, and surpassed 100,000 in 2021 for the first time. Leopard attacks spark fear in Uttar Pradesh district Manisha Singh cannot forget the day her six-year-old daughter, Yashi, was attacked by a leopard. “I saw the animal come into our front yard, grab my daughter and run. That was the last time I saw her alive.” Ms Singh found her daughter several hours later in a sugarcane field near their house in Moosepur, a small village in Uttar Pradesh state’s Bijnor district. Yashi was already dead by then. The attack was just one of many in Bijnor. In the past three months, seven people have died due to leopard attacks in the district. Five of these attacks took place in the span of just eight days, between 19 and 26 April – and increased fear and panic across villages in the district. Forest officials say that leopard attacks aren’t uncommon in the area but that there has been a sudden rise in recent weeks. “The attacks have also become extremely aggressive,” says Mahesh Chand Gautam, a forest official. “But why that is happening now is yet to be ascertained.” “We need to find out the circumstances under which the human attacks took place. What time of the day, who the victims are, and what situations they were in at the time of the attack,” says NVK Ashraf, chief veterinarian for the Wildlife Trust of India. Leopards are shy animals, but over the years, there have been several instances of them venturing into villages and cities in search of prey as their habitats shrink. They are a common sight in Bijnor – a lush region which has a combination of grasslands, wetlands and dense forest, all of which offer natural habitat to the big cats, says Mr Ashraf. “Leopards can live in a mosaic of forested areas and agricultural fields and are very adaptable,” he adds. It is difficult to estimate their numbers accurately in Bijnor, but forest officials say that the population has been rising steadily.