HASSAN: The five-year-old panther, which was struggling for life after it was found stuck in barbed wire in Kanavikaval forest near Hulikal Siddapura village in Arkalgud taluk, died on Sunday.
The barbed wire trap was allegedly laid by some villagers between two huge stones that serve as a cage to catch wild pigs and rabbits. The panther got trapped when it apparently came in search of food. It struggled all through the night to free itself but got entangled in it further.
Villagers, who heard the cries of the animal, informed the matter to officials of the Forest Department on Sunday morning.
Though the office of the Ranger Forest Officer is stationed in Arkalagud, which is 25 km away, nobody turned up from that office.
The two forest guards who were present at the site could not rescue the animal.
Villagers told The Hindu that had the forest department tranquilised the panther, they would have helped load the animal into a cage.
Deputy Conservator for Forest K H Nagaraj told The Hindu that it was impossible to tranquilise the panther as it was caught between two huge stones and was entangled in barbed wire. While lifting the animal, it would have died as it was severely injured.
Mr. Nagaraj said the post-mortem report revealed that the panther’s kidney was completely ruptured. There was no neglect on the part of Forest Department, he said. Mr. Nagaraj visited the spot on Monday.
The panther was cremated after post-mortem. “We have also taken permission from Judicial Magistrate, Arkalgud, to conduct further inquiry as per Section 9 of Wildlife Act 1972.
The Assistant Conservator of Forests, Sakleshpur, will conduct the enquiry. We are also conducting enquiry as to who put the trap to capture wild pigs and rabbits,” he added.