Sunday, June 24, 2007

Indian reserve director loses job over leopard death

Friday 22nd of June 2007

The field director of the Sariska tiger reserve in Rajasthan, Som Shekhar, has been removed from his post following the death of a panther in the sanctuary. He is awaiting a new posting.

'We have placed Som Shekhar in the 'awaiting posting order' category for the laxity he has shown,' Forest Minister L.N. Dave told IANS.

A panther was found dead June 16 in Bhairunghati area of the reserve. While the forest department claims the animal died fighting other wild cats, doctors say gunshots killed the panther.

The Alwar district collector has been asked to conduct an enquiry into the panther's death, Dave said. According to the 2004 wildlife census, there are over 550 panthers in the state.

The panther's death comes at a time when the Rajasthan government is busy making a plan to rehabilitate tigers in the reserve.

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