Rare black leopard found in Nallathanniya to be freed after recovery

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

A black leopard, classified as rare in Sri Lanka, which was injured after being trapped in a snare in the Lakshapana Estate in Nallathanniya, Hatton this morning (Tuesday) will be released into the wild after complete recovery.

Wildlife Conservation Department spokesperson, Hasini Sarachandra told the Colombo Gazette the injured animal was transported to the Randenigala Veterinary Hospital with the assistance of officials from the Nallathanniya Department of Wildlife Conservation this afternoon.

She further said the Chief Veterinary Doctor attached to the Udawalawa Department of Wildlife Conservation Dr. Malaka Abeyratne has examined the male leopard and confirmed that it is seven years of age.

Dr. Malaka Abeyratne had further said the animal had sustained an injury just above its right leg, but is not in a serious condition.

Sarachandra went on to say the black leopard will be treated at the Randenigala Veterinary Hospital and measures will be taken to release it back into the wild after ascertaining its complete recovery.

Sarachandra confirmed that there is a significant population of black leopards found in thick forest areas such as Singharaja and Yatiyanthota in Sri Lanka.

She explained that these animals are wrongly identified as black panthers or a subspecies of leopards.

Sarachandra clarified that there are no panthers in Sri Lanka, but only leopards with black coats, which is caused due to a deficiency in melanin or a rare skin condition that reacts to a certain climate. (Colombo Gazette)