Foresters suspect dead leopard, cub were poisoned

With postmortem report of a female leopard and a cub recently found dead near a village in Sankheda taluka indicating they were poisoned, forest authorities now worry that villagers in south Gujarat facing frequent attacks by leopards could be resorting to desperate measures.

According to officials at the Vadodara Social Forestry Division, the incident took place on the outskirts of Tanakhala and Diwalipura village in Sankheda taluka. Officials have sent the samples to Forensic Science Laboratory at Surat for further investigation.

Villagers informed us on Friday about the dead leopard and the cub. The female leopard was probably five years old while the cub was about one year old. There were no injury marks on the bodies and the postmortem did not reveal any internal injuries. This means both the animals consumed some poisonous substance. For further investigation, we have sent the samples to the FSL, Surat,” said Deputy Conservator of Forests (Vadodara) M B Patel.

Patel said there have been no reports of big cats being sighted in the villages where the leopard and the cub were found dead.

We were surprised. The villagers are not forthcoming but we are trying to get more information about the deaths. A team led by assistant conservator of forests will probe the incident,” he added.

bigcatrescue.org

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