Leopard killing at Udawalawe National Park: Three arrested | Daily News


 

Leopard killing at Udawalawe National Park: Three arrested

Three suspects linked to the killing of a leopard in the Udawalawe National Park were arrested by Police on Sunday.

They were to be produced before the Embilipitiya Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Wildlife Department officials said the suspects have been identified as hunters residing in Nelum Wewa, Udawalawa. The carcass of a young male leopard was found 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. The postmortem examination was carried out by Veterinarian Dr. Malaka Abeywardena on Friday.

The Special Task Force with the assistance of the Wildlife Conservation Department conducted search operations to track down the culprits after the carcass was found.

A Wildlife Department Spokesperson said only about 10 leopards live in the Udawalawe Park and the this leopard 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.

Another leopard was found dead in the Pillahena area in Peragas Handiya, Yatiyanthota last week. The Department said investigations pertaining to this incident were continuing.

Wildlife Resources State Minister Wimalaweera Dissanayake said the Ministry’s attention had been drawn to the concerns as to whether these killings were committed by an organized group.

The Sri Lankan leopard has been listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List.

Habitat loss and hunting for trade have become reasons for the Sri Lankan leopard to rapidly decline.

In the meantime, UPFA MP and President’s Counsel Faiszer Musthapha has volunteered to give legal assistance to those having problems in reporting wildlife crimes. “Unfortunately animal cruelty is on the rise. We must unite together to deal with it. Anybody has issues in reporting an incident, I will be happy to help,” he tweeted yesterday. 

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Three arrested for killing leopard in Udawalawe National Park (12:37)

Three suspects linked to the killing of a leopard in the Udawalawe National Park were arrested by Police on Sunday.
 
They were to be produced before the Embilipitiya Magistrate’s Court today.

The Wildlife Department officials said the suspects have been identified as hunters residing in Nelumwewa, Udawalawa.
 
A young male leopard was found killed, 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. The postmortem examination was carried out by Veterinarian Dr. Malaka Abeywardena on Friday.
 
The Special Task Force with the assistance of the Wildlife Conservation Department conducted search operations to track down the culprits after the carcass was found.


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