Leopard trapped in Ghogha, dies
Times of India
A leopard was found dead atop a hill of Nana Khorana forest in Ghogha taluka of Bhavnagar on Saturday night after it got entangled in a snare, the forest department confirmed on Sunday.
"Upon inspecting the site, we found three snares, about six feet long, kept at different places. The big cat was trapped in one of the snares and dies of strangulation as its neck was in a copper wire, the kind used on motorcycle clutches, that had pierced in to its throat," said deputy forest officer(DFO) KS Randhawa.
The leopard was about six years old. It turned out to be the same beast that had killed 18 sheep in Shobhavad village of Talaja taluka last week.
The forest department learnt about the incident after villagers of Nana Khokhara spotted the body of the big cat on Saturday evening. "As soon as we were told about the incident happened two days ago," another forest department official said.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the place where snares were setup was a grazing land. Sources in the department said it could be possible that the snares were placed by shepherds to ward off big cats. However, the possibility of poachers targeting lions was also not ruled out.
"We suspect the hands of locals in the incident, who may have tried to kill other wild animals like blue bulls and the leopard got trapped. Prima facie it appears culprits tried to hunt for a wild animal for its meat," the official told TOI.
Randhawa said, "Whether the snares were placed for lion hunting or poaching of some other small size animals will be known only after the culprits are nabbed." Meanwhile, the leopard's carcass was taken to Bhavnagar, where its post-mortem is scheduled on Monday. According to the forest department, there are six to seven leopards on the prowl in Nana Khokhara forest.
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