- Eight leopards killed as a result of snaring for this year
- Pressure to lungs have led to dyspnea
- Estate managements more vigilant now
- People don’t inform DWC about these incidents
By Kamanthi Wickramasinghe
Another leopard succumbed to injuries as a result of snaring early yesterday raising the total count of leopard deaths to eight just for this year.
The carcass was found at a private estate in Doluwa, Ambagasthenna in Kandy. According to Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) Director-General Chandana Sooriyabandara DWC officials have been able to reach the location within half an hour.
“But the animal was dead by then. It’s not easy to trace all places where snares have been kept. But we have continuously educated people and estate managements on why this poses a risk to wildlife, especially the leopard,” Sooriyabandara said.
He added that the DWC sees a progress on the side of estate managements where they go on a daily routine check to remove snares in their estates.
“They have also created WhatsApp groups and are coordinating with the DWC. If they spot a leopard and finds out an incident of snaring they immediately inform us.”
But this is not the case when educating people, the DWC Director General observed. “They don’t take things seriously. With regard to this particular incident there’s a village close by and people don’t even bother to inform us. We have repeatedly requested people to inform us about wildlife-related incidents via the 1992 hotline, but we seldom receive calls,” he laments.
When asked what happens to a leopard’s carcass after a postmortem Sooriyabandara said that it depends on the court order. “The court informs us about what needs to be done to the carcass.”
However, according to Dr. Tharaka Prasad, Director-Wildlife Health at DWC, the leopard was in a hanging position by the time the DWC officials visited the site. “Due to this position the abdomen and vital organs would have exerted pressure on the diaphragm and lungs thereby leading to dyspnea (shortness of breath).”
- The leopard was in a hanging position by the time the DWC officials visited the site