Monday, November 09, 2009

Two leopards caught, hunt on for third

Two leopards caught, hunt on for third
Times of India

In a four-day operation, the forest department successfully caged two male leopards in Dolasa village in Amreli district on Wednesday and Thursday, while a third remained at large.

According to sources, a team of officials rushed to the village after two goats were found killed. "Farmer Giga Chauhan spotted the half-eaten carcasses of his goats on Tuesday morning and informed us. When we reached the village, people told us there were three leopards on the prowl in the area. Following this, we set up two cages at different places," said a forester.

Cages with live bait of goats yielded result as two leopards were caught. However, the third big cat remained elusive. Foresters are camping in Dolasa to capture it.

A wildlife expert said there was a trend of leopards, like lions, expanding their territory out of Gir sanctuary. "It's an unusual phenomenon. Leopards are leaving Gir sanctuary and straying into villages not known to have wildlife, let alone big cats," he said.

Recently, a leopard was sighted in Sanosara village of Bhavnagar, which doesn't even boast of thick forest cover," said Shailesh Makwana, managing director of Existence Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to environment protection and wildlife.

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