Sunday, August 05, 2007

S. Africa: Leopard freed from trap with help of police

By Lynn Williams

A YOUNG leopard was freed from a homemade snare in the Amanzi area near Uitenhage yesterday afternoon.

Police spokesman Inspector Gerda Swart said members of the Uitenhage stock theft unit had received a report from a local farmer, George Marais, that the leopard was caught in the snare.

Swart said Inspector Johann de Wet and a local veterinary surgeon had gone to the farm and with the help of farm workers had calmed the leopard so that the vet could administer a local anaesthetic.

"The animal was freed and taken to veterinary surgeon and nature conservationist Dr Bool Smuts," Swarts said. "The leopard will recover to such an extent that it will be able to be released into its natural habitat."

Yesterday's incident follows an announcement by the Baviaanskloof Valley Farmers' Association this week that all its members would in future refrain from using gin traps on their farms.

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