Meat quality or mischief to blame for two leopard deaths

Vijay Singh, Times News Network, 20 September 2018

Link to the news article

Alarmed by two leopard deaths within six days at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli, activists and environmentalists said the “quality of meat fed to the big cats or mischief by someone” could be two top reasons for it.

While 10-year-old male leopard Bhandara died on Monday night, 10-month-old Suraj, had died  last Tuesday. The forest department has launched a probe into the two leopard deaths.

“It is highly unusual for two leopards to die in a supposedly safe environment. I feel the forest department must inquire into the quality of food given to the leopards, and to tigers and lions at the rescue centre. Possibly, quality of meat supplied to the animals has become poor of late,” said activist Debi Goenka of Conservation Action Trust.

Currently, there are nine leopards seven tigers and three lions at the rescue centre. Forest officials said all big cats are fed buffalo meat six days in a week while one day is for “fasting”.

“If meat quality were poor, all animals would have been affected,” said Pawan Sharma of Resqink Association for Welfare. “I feel it could also be mischief by someone.” Honorary wildlife warden, Sunish Subramanian said “strongly suspects it is a poisoning case as symptoms of both leopards were the same”.

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