Captured leopard found dead in Anekal

Captured leopard found dead in Anekal

Captured leopard found dead in Anekal
The leopard, which was caught in Kaggalipura on Sunday, was found dead in Anekal on Tuesday. Though forest officials didn’t confirm if it was the same leopard, independent wildlife experts who matched the patches on the animal confirmed that the dead leopard was the one caught at Kaggalipura.

However, some forest staffers opine that the animal, which died in Anekal, was the one which was captured in Kaggalipura. They said the animal died due to a tranquiliser overdose. But higher-ups chose to remain silent on the matter.

Bannerghatta Biological Park veterinarian Nirupama Rao had tranquilised the animal. She said the animal could not have died because of an overdose of tranquiliser.

It has been proved that if the animal is overdosed, it will die within half an hour. “We followed National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) rules which state that if the animal has no injuries and is healthy, it should be released back into the wild,’’ she said.

Vidya Athreya, leopard researcher from Wildlife Conservation Society-India, verified images of the captured and the dead leopards and confirmed that it was the same animal. “Though the animal is the same, it is unlikely that it died due to drug overdose. In India, Ketamine/Xylazine combination drug is used to tranquilise animals as it is the safest. If the animal, after being released was fully up and running, then it is unlikely that the death is because of drug overdose. The effect of these drugs wears away very quickly. But the whole episode of getting caught in the snare, then being captured and released in a new territory could have been very stressful on the animal. This could have caused the death,” she said. 

The leopard, which was injured after being caught in a snare, was rescued on Sunday and released into the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP). On Monday night, BNP staff found a leopard in a critical condition near Maralawadi village in Kanakapura. The staff camped there all night, but could not revive the animal as it was moved into the bushes.

A postmortem was conducted by Dr Manjunatha V, Scientist-1, Wild Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab, Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals, Bannerghatta Biological Park. He said the animal died because of cardiac insufficiency and haemorrhage in the bladder. There was also a snare mark on the hind quarters of the animal. The male was aged around five to six years. All its canines and claws were intact, Manjunatha said.