A body of a full-grown leopard was found near Mohorli forest in the buffer zone of Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district, some 180 kms from here, on Wednesday early morning.
According to reports reaching the state forest headquarters here, a forest guard spotted the leopard carcass during a routine patrol and immediately informed senior forest officials. The leopard appeared to have died on Tuesday. But reason of the death is yet to be ascertained.
BSK Reddy, the chief conservator of forests (CCF), Chandrapur circle, informed that a team of forest personnel, along with veterinary doctors went to the spot. The carcass was sent for a post mortem. “Poisoning of the wild animal can’t be ruled out,” he added.
With the death of this leopard, as many as 19 big cats were killed within the periphery of Tadoba Tiger Reserve in last 10 years. Most of them fell prey to poachers.
Tadoba, one of the oldest national parks in the country, is spread over 1727.59 sq kms of hills and lush valleys, covered with dense teak and bamboo forests. Of this, 625.82 kms is core area while rests are buffer zone. It is also home to wild dogs, leopard, bison, sloth bear and hyena, apart from 69 tigers.
It is the only tiger reserve in the country where 38 cubs were born since January 2010.