This refers to the photo essay “Rescue goes awry” (June 4), on the death of a leopard in Assam. It's nothing but the sheer lack of elementary knowledge in handling dangerous, wild animals which proved fatal for the beautiful feline. A wild animal in severe stress will naturally panic and attack anyone within striking distance. But a team of experts panicking speaks very poorly of their professional skills.

Perhaps, the officials need to learn from episodes aired on television that show the amount of planning that goes into animal capture. Till then, such scenes, as in Assam, are bound to be repeated.

Kutub Shamshudin A.,

Chennai

It was disturbing to see the leopard being killed. That those in a state of panic comprised army officers and Oil India officers who were not patient enough to wait for the tranquilliser to take effect is a shame. A leopard being killed by villagers is understandable, but what happened in Assam is inexcusable. And why was the animal left to die when forest department officers were present? The Ministry of Environment and Forests must order an investigation.

Anand Mishra,

Ghaziabad

The hasty killing is disturbing to animal lovers and wildlife patrons. The pictures depict a lack of technique and seem to have been more a show of machismo. The behaviour of a wild animal straying into a human habitat would be to defend itself and then escape. The behaviour of the security officers in eliminating the animal is condemnable.

A. Subbalakshmi,

Bangalore

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