Tamil Nadu

Male leopard found dead, suspected to have been shot with a projectile

The leopard was found dead inside a major tea estate in Pandalur.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A 5-year-old male leopard was found dead with an improvised projectile lodged in one of its hind limbs near Pandalur on Tuesday.

The leopard was found dead inside a tea field belonging to a major tea estate in Pandalur, and a post mortem was conducted. Apart from a few bite marks sustained possibly as a result of a fight with another animal, the postmortem revealed that the animal had been shot with a projectile which had lodged itself in one of its hind limbs, which forest officials believe had led to its death.

The animal was found dead just a few kilometers away from the area where a male elephant was found dead with a similar projectile lodged in one of its legs last month. On Wednesday, District Forest Officer, Gudalur Division, Sumesh Soman, admitted that there were “similarities” between the two incidents, but added that it was too early to come to a conclusion as to whether the killings of both the animals were connected.

“Three forest teams, a tracking team and a sniffer dog have been pressed into service to find the persons responsible,” said Mr. Soman, who added that the leopard had been shot just a few days prior to being found dead inside the estate.

This is the third major wildlife crime reported in the Nilgiris in the last few months. In September of this year, five wild dogs were killed in a suspected mass poisoning incident in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. The persons responsible in all three crimes remain at large.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 7:07:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/male-leopard-found-dead-suspected-to-have-been-shot-with-a-projectile/article32962066.ece

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