Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Africa: Wounded leopard may be put down

Wounded leopard may be put down


April 25 2006 at 08:07AM 


By Caryn Dolley


The Eastern Cape leopard rescued twice from gin traps may have to be put down if her condition does not improve within 10 days.


The leopard was found dehydrated and with her paw in a gin trap along the boundary fence of the Addo Elephant Park on Easter Sunday. She had tried to chew through her paw to free herself.


After two of her toes were amputated, she gnawed at the wound as it was irritating her, said Bool Smuts, director of the Landmark Foundation, which promotes nature conservation.


She had stopped gnawing at it, was eating well and was on antibiotics

"Leopards do that sometimes. They eat away the dead tissue if wounded seriously," said Smuts, who is helping to rehabilitate the animal.


The leopard was darted on Thursday and her wound cleaned. She had stopped gnawing at it, was eating well and was on antibiotics, but her chances of survival in the wild did "not look good", Smuts said.


"At least the pad of her paw is intact, but if her condition deteriorates, we won't be able to release her into the wild and may have to put her down."


When the three-year-old was found, she was taken to a holding camp at Riverbend, a private section of the Addo.


Two weeks earlier, she had been freed from a gin trap on a Steytlerville farm. She was pregnant, but had lost her cubs by the second time she was found.






This article was originally published on page 5 of Cape Times on April 25, 2006


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