Mumbai: Leopard found dead in SGNP
Sources from the park say it might have died of old age and not poaching, as all its body parts were intact
The decomposed body of an adult male leopard was found in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on Wednesday morning. Investigations are on into the cause of death but sources from the park said the animal might have died of old age and not poaching, as all its body parts – claws, teeth, skin - were intact. On Wednesday at around 8 am, a patrolling team of the park, spotted the decomposed body of the leopard near some bushes. They informed senior officials including the park director.
Speaking to mid-day, SGNP director and chief conservator of forest, Anwar Ahmed said, "Our patrolling team spotted the dead body of a leopard near Kanheri on Wednesday morning. I visited the spot and after examining the carcass it appears that the animal might have died due to old age." He also told mid-day that all the body parts of the leopard including its teeth and claws were intact.
"We will take help of wildlife researcher Nikit Surve from the Wildlife Conservation Society, India to see if it is possible to identify the leopard based on its rosette pattern," added Anwar.
SGNP veterinary officer Shailesh Pethe said, "An approximately 12 to 14-year-old male leopard was found dead in KUB area of SGNP. The carcass was at least 6 to 7 days old and found in decaying condition and completely infested with maggots. There was a wound near the neck which was heavily infested with maggots, sustained probably due to territorial fighting. The internal organs were in highly decomposed state. The cause of death is probably territorial fight and old age. It's a natural death in the wild."
Previous such incidents
May 2018: An eight-month-old cub was found dead in the Yeoor range of the SGNP.
May 2017: The carcass of a full grown leopard was found in a decomposed manner inside the core forest area of SGNP. But the possibility of poaching was ruled out, as all the body parts of the animal were intact, except for a couple of nails.
July 2016: The body of a five-month-old cub was found by a patrolling team from SGNP near the Shilonda trail.
December 2015: The body of a 6-year-old male was found near the Shilonda trail by a patrolling team from SGNP.
Approximate age of the dead leopard
An approximately 12 to 14-year-old male leopard was found dead in KUB area of SGNP. The carcass was at least 6 to 7 days old and found in decaying condition and completely infested with maggots.
- Shailesh Pethe Veterinary officer
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