A four-year-old male leopard was found dead in Kishanpur wildlife sanctuary in Lakhimpur Kheri district.
The feline was trapped in an iron snare. It appeared to have died after sustaining serious injuries in an effort to free itself from the snare. The forest department and the local police have lodged a joint operation to arrest poachers.
One of the poachers responsible for the leopard’s death was arrested on Monday. But the arrest could not be confirmed.
Local villagers apprised wildlife activist Jaswant Singh Kalair about the leopard having been trapped near Ambargarh area of the sanctuary on Sunday evening.
After getting the information, Singh, along with other forest officials, reached the spot to rescue the leopard.
“We were waiting for the tranquillising team to arrive after arranging a cage for shifting the leopard. But before members of the team could arrive, the leopard died,” said Singh.
After senior forest officials reached the spot, the carcass was sent for a post-mortem examination.
Several incidents of killings of leopards have been reported from Kishanpur sanctuary in the recent past.
Last week, a leopard strayed from a forest area and entered a village in Gorakhpur where it injured several people. Later, it went back into its natural habitat.