The leopard was spotted lying lifeless in a mining pit by a group of villagers who immediately informed the forest department staff regarding the animal.
The leopard was spotted lying lifeless in a mining pit by a group of villagers who immediately informed the forest department staff regarding the animal.

Male leopard found dead in a mining pit in Aravalli

The leopard was spotted lying lifeless in a mining pit by a group of villagers who immediately informed the forest department staff regarding the animal.
By Ipsita Pati | Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
UPDATED ON NOV 25, 2017 12:26 AM IST

A five-year-old male leopard was found dead in Kharak Sohna village in Mewat district of Haryana on Friday afternoon. The village is close to the Aravalli range.

The leopard was spotted lying lifeless in a mining pit by a group of villagers who immediately informed the forest department staff regarding the animal.

Preliminary examination suggested that the animal had injuries on its front legs and face which suggests that it might have accidentally fallen into the 100-feet deep abandoned mining pit, wildlife officers said.

Forest department officials said that the exact reason of death, however, could only be ascertained after the post-mortem examination. The wildlife department will conduct an autopsy on the animal on Saturday.

The body of the animal, in the meanwhile, was transported to Sultanpur National Park from Mewat where a team of three veterinary doctors will conduct the post-mortem.

“Initial investigation does not hint towards any foul play or man-animal conflict. The animal must have fallen into the pit accidently and injured its paws and face. We are yet to figure out how a adult leopard can fall into a pit,” Vinod Kumar, wildlife conservator of south Haryana, said.

Leopards are protected under Scheduled I of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972. As the region has been facing a number of man-animal conflicts recently, wildlife experts feel there is need to strengthen wildlife policies.

“We do not have any strategies for wildlife outside protected areas and India has lot of wildlife around human territories. The challenges faced by wildlife outside reserve parks and sanctuaries are very critical, that is what we need to address,” Prerna Bindra, a former member, standing committee, National Board for Wildlife, said.

The number of animal-animal conflicts have been increasing in the last few years. A male leopard was beaten to death in Kheri Gujaran village in 2011 by a mob in the presence of government officials. In April 2014 again, four leopards were found dead within a week in and around a private golf resort in Gurgaon. About half a dozen other leopards have been killed in road accidents in Gurgaon last few years. On November 24, a two-and-half-year-old male leopard was beaten to death by villagers of Mandawar after it strayed into the village in Sohna, 40 kms from Gurgaon.

There has been a four-time rise in number of leopards in the last five years, a Wildlife Institute of India (WII) survey this year had found.

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) survey found increase in leopard population in the Aravalli areas of Gurgaon, Faridabad and other south Haryana districts.

Past incidents of man-animal conflicts in Gurgaon-

March 2008- A four-year-old leopard was caught from a Farmhouse in Sohna.

September 2008- A speeding vehicle killed a three-year-old male leopard when it was crossing the highway (NH-8) near Manesar village.

February 2009- A leopard and her two cubs were injured by a speeding vehicle on NH-8

July 2010- A five-year-old female leopard was recovered from a farmhouse in the Aravalli area of Gurgaon by forest department officials.

January 2011- A male leopard was beaten to death in Kheri Gujaran village by a mob in the presence of government officials.

December 2011- A blue bull (nilgai) was killed while trying to cross the Gurgaon-Faridabad road.

April 2014- Four leopards were found dead within a week in and around a private golf resort in Gurgaon.

November 2014- A 12-year-old male leopard was killed in a road accident in Manesar.

May 2015- A young female leopard was found dead after being hit by a vehicle on Gurgaon-Faridabad Road near Mangar Bani.

April 2016- Carcasses of leopard was found in forest Gairatpur Bas area of Gurgaon district.

November 2016---A two-and-half-year-old leopard was killed in November last year at Mandawar village in the presence of wildlife and police officials.

December 2016--- A three-and-a-half-year-old male leopard that strayed into mustard fields near Malaka village of Tauru, 40 kms from Gurgaon was rescued.

February 2018 ---A male leopard was rescued by the wildlife department from Krishna Colony in Palwal after a five-hour operation.

March 17---A leopard was rescued from a village at Durga Colony in Sohna.

October 6--- An eight-year-old male leopard which was spotted inside Maruti Suzuki’s manufacturing plant in Manesar on October 5 was rescued and released into Aravalli after a 36-hour combing operation.

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