Monday, December 18, 2006

Indian villagers help free trapped leopard

Shimla, Dec 17 (IANS) A leopard that got stuck in a foot trap in Himachal Pradesh was rescued by wildlife officials and taken to a zoo.

The animal, trapped in Chakali village in Mandi district, 160 km from here, was freed late Saturday after villagers saw it and informed officials.

The rescue team first tranquillised the big cat and then removed the foot trap, which had cut into its paw, causing it to bleed.

The leopard was treated by veterinarians, caged and sent to the nearby Gopalpur zoo, where the animal is said to be recovering.

"We were able to rescue and treat the leopard only due to the timely information provided by villagers," said C.S. Singh, a wildlife official.

A police case has been lodged against the owner of the land in which the trap was laid.

"There are 10 leopards now at Gopalpur zoo - all rescued from traps from across the state," said C.S. Singh, a wildlife official.

The number of incidents of leopards being trapped and killed in Himachal Pradesh has been on the rise in recent years.

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