Monday, June 9, 2008

Leopard carcass found in field, foul play suspected

Express News Service
Posted online: Friday , May 30, 2008 at 11:43:09

Junagadh, May 29 In less then a month, another leopard carcass has surfaced in the revenue area adjoining Gir forest. On Wednesday, the carcass of a full-grown leopard was found in a farm located on the outskirts of Jashapar village in Talala taluka falling under Gir west forest division. Prima facie, it appeared that the leopard had died due to natural reasons, but a post-mortem revealed head injuries, which had resulted in a brain haemorrhage.
Earlier on May 3, the carcass of a leopard had been found in the fields on the outskirts of Simar village in Jashadhar forest range in Gir east forest division. Officials had admitted it to be a case of poaching, and while the police have identified two people, they are still at large.

According to Range forest officer (Talala range) M B Chauhan, a leopard attacked one Jerambhai Nagji (65) when he was working in the fields on Tuesday. Nagji was rushed to the Talala public health centre where he received six stitches. Even though the foresters laid a trap and waited all night to nab the animal, they could not find it.

When the foresters began looking for the animal the next day, they found a leopard's carcass lying barely 50 metres from where the incident had occurred.

When contacted, Assistant Conservator of Forest (Talala range) R D Katara said, "Prima-facie it was appeared to be a case of natural death, but a post-mortem revealed that the animal had received serious head injuries. An inquiry has been initiated into this case."

When contacted, inquiry officer M B Chauhan said, "On Thursday, an offence was registered under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, rule 9 -against an unknown person. However, no arrests have been made so far."

The farmer's statement is yet to be recorded as he is still under medical observation. Killing of leopards is a non-bailable offence, that invites punishment ranging between three to seven years and fine, or both," said Chauhan.


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