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Leopard killings ‘isolated incidents’: Wildlife Dept.

Nearly 20 native leopards killed since January

23 September 2020 08:31 am - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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While saying that nearly 20 native leopards have become prey due to human activities reported since January, the Wildlife Department said they have taken all measures to put an end to these occurrences.

Department of Wildlife Conservation Director (Health), Dr. Tharaka Prasad told Daily Mirror that the Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is strictly protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance of Sri Lanka.

The National Conservation Status of this species is regarded as "Endangered" (National Red List 2012). They have also been listed as threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as well.

“Accordingly, setting-up snares and killing these leopards are strictly prohibited. However, this continues to happen,” Dr. Prasad said.

“The leopards become prey to the snares which are set up to hunt other animals. There are only one or two incidents where snares are setup to hunt leopards,” Dr. Prasad added.

He stressed that the Wildlife Department with the support of police have already launched a special programme to curb the killing of native leopards.

Under this, awareness programmes among public are conducted. Still, people pay no attention to this matter and neither have they taken it seriously. However, he said they had found it difficult to identify those responsible for setting up snares

The Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is a subspecies native to Sri Lanka first described in 1956 by Sri Lankan zoologist Deraniyagala.The survival of the Sri Lankan leopard is threatened because of habitat loss and poaching. (Sheain Fernandopulle)

 

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  Comments - 8

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  • Cicero Wednesday, 23 September 2020 09:54 AM

    If you want to take measures to end the killing and destruction you have to end the corruption within the government and parliament!

    Sando Wednesday, 23 September 2020 09:58 AM

    Every incident is isolated.....until our wildlife is wiped out......Elephants......Leopards....and others. What a shame.... Protect all remaining Forest Lands under the Forest Department/DWLC.

    Dayawathie Wednesday, 23 September 2020 12:15 PM

    Obviously the wildlife dept is not doing a good job at all while taking thumping salaries. Corruption is rife. Please do some justice to what you earn.

    Umar Wednesday, 23 September 2020 12:55 PM

    What protection? This was a targeted killing - three shots to the head. If it were a human this would be called an assassination. Publish the autopsy reports and cremate the carcass in the presence of several photo-journalists so that we can be sure that all is above board - IF, as Dr. Tharaka Prasad says, this is accidental.

    Umar Wednesday, 23 September 2020 12:56 PM

    Make these headlines to protect our wildlife - rather than 20A or 21B or whatever else is to come. We lost control of that ever since the idiot voting public gave this mob a 2/3 majority.

    Shalinda de Soyza Wednesday, 23 September 2020 01:03 PM

    This man does not realize that leopards do not roam in herds like deer. Every leopard death is an isolated incident. The recent death is a case of shooting! What steps are the authorities taking. The wildlife lovers have a right to know. Posted by :"Leopard in the bush"

    DOT Wednesday, 23 September 2020 01:37 PM

    isolated indeed ! Tell that to the leopards .We expect the Wild life dept should be more proactive as to the needs of the living creatures in the wild they have to protect .otherwise its a waste of funding and resources .

    Siri Wednesday, 23 September 2020 02:03 PM

    There is absolutely nothing in the Director's briefing that is news. "Killings of leopards go on despite being endangered. People pay no attention. They don't take it seriously. Most snares are set to trap other animals. Difficult to identify culprits". Well, everyone who is even slightly responsible - dept. of wildlife, police, politicians, communities need to put their weight behind and end for good this abhorrent national disaster. Culprits to face the maximum penalties without remission.


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