Wildlife

FREQUENT LEOPARD DEATHS IN KARNATAKA – A CAUSE FOR SERIOUS CONCERN

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Green Minute News

Karnataka is staring at frequent deaths of leopards either by poisoning or brutal beatings by people in some districts of the state. The death of a female leopard and its two cubs in Nanjangud, Mysuru district, Karnataka, India has sent shock waves in the wildlife community.

The other causes for frequent leopard deaths are rampant road kills on highways or snaring by poachers. With decreasing habitat and forest encroachments, leopards have often been straying into human settlements resulting in conflicts with farmers who reside on the boundaries of protected areas or reserve forests.

Just five kilometres from Omkar Range of Bandipur National Park, the death of these three leopards have occurred and this is not the first time such an incident has taken place. Omkar range has seen cases of both leopard and tiger poisoning in the last few years.

The body of the four year old mother leopard and its two cubs (just four months old) was found at different places in the fields of farmers behind the government hospital at Hallare village in Nanjangud taluk on Monday. Investigations by forest officials are presently going on and questioning of local people has pointed towards poisoning. However, visceral samples collected by the doctors have been sent for forensic analysis to Mysuru.

According to local residents, the big cats may have been induced to feed on poisoned dog carcass as some villagers were unhappy with the frequent movement of the animals in the vicinity of the Hallare village. The leopard and its cubs had reportedly died on Saturday while the carcasses were found only on Monday.

Forest officials confirming it to be a case of unnatural death say only forensic analysis will reveal the cause of death. Since no pug marks were found in the agricultural fields, officials suspect the bodies may have been dumped in the field. As per post-mortem report, no injury marks or removal of any body parts was seen while it revealed empty stomachs of the big cats.

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