Investigation commences into leopard’s killing | Daily News


Investigation commences into leopard’s killing

The leopard was found dead at the Mau Ara Tank.
The leopard was found dead at the Mau Ara Tank.

The Wildlife Conservation Department has commenced an investigation into the killing of a leopard near the Udawalawe National Park, Department Spokesperson Hasini Sarathchandra said.

A fully grown male leopard had been found shot dead, with its teeth plugged out and front paws cut off on December 31 night at the Mau Ara Tank near the Udawalawe National Park. The Wildlife officers found the carcass at the edge of the tank.

Sarathchandra told Daily News that the Department reported the incident to the Embilipitiya Magistrate’s Court and that investigations were on to find the culprits. The postmortem examination was carried out by Veterinarian Malaka Abeywardena yesterday.

The Department has not tracked down the offenders yet. The Spokesperson said that only about 10 leopards live in the Udawalawe Park and the killed one must have been one of them. She said the animal was about 10 years old, and it might have come out of the park to hunt cattle.

The Sri Lankan leopard has been listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. Habitat losses and hunting for trade are main reasons for the rapid decline of the number of Sri Lankan leopards.


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