Pilikula may get 'Leopard Recovery Center'

Pilikula may get 'Leopard Recovery Center'

Dr Shivaram Karanth Biological Park at Pilikula may establish a full-fledged 'Leopard Recovery Center,' in case the proposal sent to the State Government receives approval.

Most of the times, the wounded leopards from the Western Ghat region are brought to the Pilikula Zoo for treatment. However, limited infrastructure poses a problem. With the increasing number of leopards being wounded, especially after they wander into the human habitations, the recovery centre will prove to be beneficial.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Pilikula Biological Park Director Jayaprakash Bhandary said that at present, Pilikula has a treatment centre to treat the in-house animals. Most of the times, the animals brought from the wild for treatment are accommodated here. However, space constraint and limited facilities is a problem.

"In case the new recovery centre receives approval, at least six animals can be treated. The centre will have animal enclosures and a full-fledged treatment room. A full-time veterinary doctor and animal handlers will also be appointed," he said.

From 2011 till date, Pilikula has received more than 15 injured leopards. The animal being violent, needs to be handled with utmost care. Most of the times, the injury is caused by humans, who stone the animal when it enters human habitation or if the animal is caught in snares. Pilikula houses the animal till it completely recovers and later sets it free in the forest, he said.

The proposal for the recovery centre has been sent to the State government in August. There is a need for Rs 1 crore fund to set up and maintain the centre for a five year period, he said. DK Deputy Conservator of Forest O Palaiah said that with Western Ghat region being in close proximity to Mangalore, most of the injured animals are either taken to Pilikula or to Tavarekoppa in Shimoga for treatment. The recovery centre will definitely be a boon to the wild animals.

Leopards in human habitations

Recently, a black panther which had entered a house in Udupi, was captured by the forest officials.

The animal had sustained minor injuries but was released into the forest, the very same day.

Bhandary pointed out that leopards come to human habitations, either due to lack of food or due to ill health and stress.

Hence, it is best that they are treated and released into the wild only after they recuperate completely. The same should have been done with the black panther, he opined.

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