Andhra Pradesh

Forest officials suspect ‘poisoning’ of leopard

The forest officials are left with no clues about the death of a full-grown male leopard under mysterious conditions in the fields of a remote hamlet of Peddapanjani mandal of Punganur range.

The leopard’s carcass was found amidst thorny bushes on Monday evening. A team of veterinarians from Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University (SVVU) performed a post-mortem on the animal on Tuesday and collected the viscera for forensic tests before cremating its carcass.

Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor West) S. Ravi Shankar visited the location along with range officials from Punganur and Palamaner. “During the inspection, we found no external injury to the leopard and also no trace of any snare. The chances of poisoning the animal can’t be ruled out though there is plenty of water and game for it in the forests. The reason will be known only after the post-mortem report is prepared,” the DFO said.

Some villagers said the leopard kept circling a couple of hamlets at the forest fringe areas in Guttivaripalle panchayat for a month, eyeing for stray dogs. Due to fear of the leopard on the prowl, some residents were forced to secure their livestock inside their houses, which caused them much inconvenience due to rains in the area throughout the month of November. This made the forest officials suspect the “poisoning” angle.

Generally, owners of the cattle and pets killed by predators resort to poisoning them by luring them with carcasses stuffed and sprinkled them with poisonous chemicals, it is said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 6:29:13 AM |

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