The leopard beaten to death by residents of Mandawar village of Sohna in Gurgaon district on Thursday was cremated at a reserve forest the same day around 5pm by the wildlife department. The leopard had strayed into the village, 40 kms from Gurgaon, and attacked 12 people after it was surrounded by villagers.
“We have burnt the carcass completely and disposed of it. As it is a sensitive issue, we cannot disclose the location of the cremation. We have burnt the carcass completely as leopard parts are very valuable and can be misused. The claws, teeth and skin of a leopard have immense importance in the international market, due to which we disposed of the carcass completely,” said Rambir Singh, conservator of wildlife, Gurgaon.
According to the initial post mortem report, the animal died of blood loss.
“A panel of three doctors conducted the post mortem at a veterinary hospital in Badshahpur. The final report will take three days to come,” Singh added.
When asked, the wildlife department said it will take legal action against the villagers as killing a leopard is a crime under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972.
At present, India has six schedules of the WPA, of which animals listed in Schedule I and Part II are the most endangered and iconic species such as tigers, leopards and elephants. The act states that hunting or harvesting any endangered species is against the law.
In August this year, villagers had discovered the carcass of a full-grown leopard in Gairatpur Bass forest area. The cause of death could not be determined from the post-mortem as the leopard had died in July. Forest department officials had burnt that carcass completely too inside Sultanpur National Park.