Activists question departmental functioning, alleging no attempt was made to tranquilise leopard found with metal wire snare around neck
A leopard which had entered the Srinagar medical college in Pauri district on Sunday was shot dead on Tuesday. The killing has evoked strong criticism from animal rights activists especially after it was revealed that the leopard had a metal wire snare around its neck. It is also being alleged that no attempt was made to tranquilise the leopard.
A leopard had entered the medical college in Srinagar on Sunday and injured a total of three staff members there. On that day and the following day, the forest department was unable to isolate the big cat and tranquilise it. Cages were placed in an attempt to trap the leopard which reportedly remained elusive. According to sources, on Tuesday, a licensed hunter along with forest department staff started checking the rooms of the college in search of the leopard. The big cat was spotted and purportedly shot with a tranquiliser dart which reportedly made the big cat attack the men. The licensed hunter shot the leopard. It was then discovered that the eight year old male leopard also had a metal wire snare wrapped around its neck.
People For Animals (PFA) trustee Gauri Maulekhi lambasted the forest department, stating that this incident is a sign of the utter lack of leadership in the department. Talking to The Pioneer, she said, “How difficult can it be to trace a big cat in a confined space like the medical college building? I have learnt from reliable sources that there was actually no trained veterinarian at the site and that no attempt was made to actually tranquilise the leopard. It is a disgrace that a leopard already suffering due to a metal wire snare around its neck was shot dead instead of being professionally tranquilised, rescued and treated. Will the department now also lodge a case regarding the metal wire snare?”
Questioning the functioning of the forest department she said that veterinarians are learning about treatment of rhinoceros and exotic wild animals not even found in the state but when it comes to scenarios like the leopard entering the medical college building, a qualified veterinarian adept at handling such a situation is not available.
This correspondent phoned the principal chief conservator of forests Jai Raj for his view but he was unavailable for comments.
Wednesday, 03 July 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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