Captured leopard gives birth in Indian zoo

Express News Service

Vadodara, July 18: A LEOPARDESS that was trapped after it reportedly killed a 65-year-old man in Lukhadia village in Dhanpur taluka of Dahod district and shifted to Sayajibaug Zoo has given birth to a cub, said zoo officials. This is the first time in 20 years that a cub has been born at the zoo, they added. Zoo authorities are now contemplating over whether the leopardess and the cub should be released back into the forest or they should be kept at the zoo.

“We have contacted the VMC. Additional Municipal Commissioner AO Sharma has been asked to decide on the issue,” said Dr CB Patel, in-charge curator at the zoo.

According to zoo officials, the cub is 20-25 days old. “The leopardess was brought to the zoo three months ago. We are not planning on disturbing the leopardess’s den for atleast a week,” said Patel. The zoo has six leopards.

When contacted, Sharma said, “There is no question of releasing the leopardess and the cub into the forest. Discussions are on in this regard with Vadodara Forest Circle officials.” “Leopard attacks in areas surrounding Lukhadia village have reportedly reduced ever since the leopardess was captured,” said Conservator of Forest (Vadodara Circle) Jagdish Prasad. “The leopardess will have to undergo some tests. The leopardess and the cub may be kept at the zoo or sent to the rescue centre in Pavagadh,” he said.

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