Threat to India’s leopard population as NINTH found dead

Threat to India’s leopard population as NINTH big cat found dead near villages in Gurugram range

  • The death of the big cat is being treated as ‘mysterious’ by officials
  • The four year old male leopard was found with head and mouth injuries
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Mystery surrounds the death of a four year old male leopard, whose corpse was found with injuries to his mouth and head in Gurugram.

Wildlife department officials have not ruled out foul play following the discovery of the big cat’s body in an area between Bhango and Kharak village, near Raishina forest on Friday.

Shyam Sunder Kaushik, DFO wildlife Gurugram range, said: ‘We have recovered the dead body of an adult leopard, which has been sent for a post-mortem. It will be clear only after the post-mortem whether the injuries were accidental or unnatural.’

Despite efforts by the wildlife department, leopards frequently prowl around the human population. 

The dead leopard

Some are rescued by officials, but many die or are hunted down by poachers in Aravalli forest in Gurugram.   

Local villagers claimed that they spotted the wild animal at about 2pm, prowling the foothills of Aravalli mountain. 

‘It is hard to predict the cause of death, but it looks like the leopard accidentally fell down near the foothill,’ said Tarif, who lives in Kharak village. 

Due to dense forest covering the corridor between Maneser and Palwal, the foliage is considered a natural habitat for wild cats and thus the animals are frequently seen in the area. 

However, official figures show that nine leopards, including a couple of cubs, have died in mysterious circumstances in Gurugram and Faridabad since January 2014.

The area around Raishina is known for a large number of farmhouses and poaching of leopards often occurs here. 

In several incidents, leopards have been beaten to death without provocation (file photos) 

Leopard cubs have also been found dead (stock photo)

Two leopard cubs, of a litter of three, were found dead in Gairatpur Bas village in 2016. 

On November 24 last year, an agitated mob of Mandawar villagers killed a three year old leopard in full public view, and paraded the big cat’s corpse throughout the area. 

However, there was a lucky escape for another three year old leopard, which was rescued from Maruti factory in IMT Maneser. 

And an adult leopard was rescued on April 27 this year from Durga colony in Sohna, after a marathon five hours. 

Concern was sparked, too, when a four year old leopard was reported to have strayed into the human population in Palwal district on February 16 this year.