A leopard couple killed of electrocution in cantonment area of Dehradun on Monday morning. Forest officials have confirmed the death of one male another female leopard, which were caught in a high-tension wire passing close to the treetop where felines were resting.
Dead big cats were at the peak of their youth while female leopard was in heat when they climbed on a Semal tree (Bambox cebia) near a cant area entry point going towards Birpur. Dead leopard couple was 7-8 years old. They were caught with high-tension wire while coming down from the tree. Apparently it’s a case of electrocution as leopard hairs were found stuck to the wire and their nail marks were also seen on the tree branches close to the wire” informed Jagdish Singh Rawat SDO, Dehradun Forest Division.
However Rawat denied any change in skin colour of the dead leopards, a normal symptom of death due to electrocutions. Although change in skin colour was not observed but wire mark was seen on a small part of the female leopard's body. Prime facie death occurred by electrocution but exact reason will be known after postmortem; informed the SDO.
Rawat ruled out the possibility of poaching or death resulting from man-animal conflict. He further informed that forest department staff were informed about the dead big cat couple around 10 a.m. following which a team of foresters went there and shifted the carcasses to nearby Malsi Deer Park for post mortem.
Dehradun city's adjoining forest covers have witnessed almost seven leopard deaths this year till date. In fact spotting leopards nearby human habitations in cant area has not become a common feature as felines often cross over in search of food.