By Vyshnavy Velrajh
A leopard that had been caught in a snare in Bopathalawa in Agarapathana has died while being treated at the Randenigala Animal Hospital.
Director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation M.G. C. Sooriyabandara told Colombo Gazette that the leopard had been rescued after it had been trapped in a snare on Wednesday (24).
He said the animal, which is nearly 08-years-old, had died while being treated at the Randenigala Animal Hospital last morning.
Sooriyabandara said the leopard was treated for deep wounds sustained due to the animal having dragged the snare for nearly 1 km in an attempt to escape.
He said the post mortem examination has revealed the cause of death as pneumonia and the deep wounds sustained due to the snare.
The Director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation said many awareness programmes had been conducted in multiple hill country areas during the pre-Covid period.
He said the awareness campaign that was organized for the Agarapathana area had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sooriyabandara said that however, a positive response has been noted from the areas in which the awareness campaign had been conducted.
He said following random raids conducted in certain areas recently, only one trap had been seized so far this year.
The Director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation further said the death of the leopard rescued in Agarapathana is the first of its kind to be reported for 2021.
He added that nearly three leopards have been rescued, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild so far this year.
Sooriyabandara pointed out that that there was a drastic drop in incidents involving leopards trapped in snares in comparison to 2020.
A large number of leopards were reported to have been trapped in snares, with some, including a rare black leopard, reported to have died last year alone. (Colombo Gazette)