5 leopard cubs die in farm waste fire to kill a snake
Five leopard cubs were charred to death in a sugarcane farm in Ambegaon taluka of Pune district on Wednesday morning. According to forest officials, the cubs were killed after a farmer burnt trash suspecting there was a snake in it.
The cubs were around 10 days old. Forest officials said the farmer suspected there was a snake in the trash and decided to burn it. Farmers usually burn waste before the harvesting of sugarcane.
Forest officials believe that the mother of the cubs may have left them in the field when she went to search of food.
Prajot Palve, range forest officer of Ambegaon, said people have been deployed for night patrolling as the mother leopard may turn violent in her search of them.
The farm workers are afraid of going back to work fearing an attack from the mother leopard, said forest officials.
Decreasing forest cover means that leopards are often seen in sugarcane farms. Forest officials said leopards do deliver cubs in sugarcane fields and leave once the cubs grow up. If sugarcane harvesting starts before they grow up, there is a possibility of their death due to such farm fires, the officials said.
In March this year, two leopard cubs were rescued from the sugarcane fields in the same region.