Cape Town – The death at the weekend of the 20th leopard in four years in the Baviaanskloof is putting the big cats‘ sustainability under “tremendous threat” in that area of the Eastern Cape.
The adult female leopard was struck by a car on the road near Zaaimanshoek in the Baviaanskloof.
The director of the conservationist Landmark Foundation, Bool Smuts, said it was most worrying that six leopards had been removed from the area, within a radius of about 25km, in the past 12 months – two rescued from traps and four dead.
“This is putting the species under tremendous threat in the region.
“Of the other animals that have been killed in the general area, most have been the result of gin traps, an indiscriminate, biologically unacceptable means of problem animal control. They, along with poison traps, need to be banned,” Smuts said.
Smuts said the Landmark Foundation would perform a full autopsy on the leopard, including a toxicology screen.
The remains will be sent for genetic analysis to Stellenbosch University, where the data will be fed into research being done by the Cape Leopard Trust from the Cederberg.