Probe continues after leopard was poisoned to death in Matale

By Vyshnavy Velrajh and Indika Sri Aravinda

The Wildlife Conservation Department is conducting investigations to ascertain third party involvement in the killing of a leopard in Matale recently.

Director General of the Department M.G.C. Sooriyabandara told Colombo Gazette the remains of the animal was retrieved from the tank of an automatic power station in the Owala area in Matale recently.

He said reports claiming that it belonged to a rare black leopard were false, while the post mortem examination has declared that the animal had been poisoned.

Sooriyabandara further said they have obtained CCTV footage on the orders of the Court to conduct further investigations into the incident.

Four suspects, including two employees of the power station who were arrested in connection to the killing of the leopard have been released on conditional bail.

Meanwhile, Director of Health at the Wildlife Conservation Department Dr. Tharaka Prasad told Colombo Gazette that this was the second leopard to be killed in the Matale district within a year.

He said preliminary investigations have confirmed that the animal had been killed due to poisoning.

Dr. Prasad said the leopard is suspected to have been killed for its skin and teeth, among other valuable body parts. (Colombo Gazette)