Leopards to get more space at SGNP

Aug 17, 2014, 06:49 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

The cats, which were kept in smaller cages till date, will be moved to larger enclosures in the soon-to-be-opened rescue centre

There is good news for over 20 leopards who have been kept inside small cages at the Leopard Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). They will soon be moved to bigger cages in the new rescue centre, which is in the last stages of completion.

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park
New spacious cages being constructed at Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar

“Since a few years, we faced a space crunch problem to keep the new animals that are trapped after human-animal conflict cases. In this regard, the new rescue centre will be very helpful,” said a Forest Department official requesting anonymity.
At present, there are more than 20 leopards at the SGNP rescue centre. Whenever a new leopard is rescued, it becomes a huge issue as there is no space to house it on a temporary basis since the cages are full. As a result, sometimes the animals are kept in the same enclosure that they were trapped in.

However, with the new rescue centre this problem will be solved. Confirming the same, SGNP Director and Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) Vikas Gupta said, “The work of the new leopard rescue centre at SGNP is in the last stages. Within a few months, leopards from the old rescue centre will be shifted to this centre which has bigger cages attached to the small cage. The bigger cages will provide the animals ample space to move. We will also be creating a natural environment around the bigger enclosures so that the animal feels it’s in its natural environment.”

At present the size of cages in which the leopards are kept is less than 10x10 feet. The space in the bigger enclosures will be twice of this.

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