Thu 18 December 2008 15:32 UK — Asia,Big Cats
Indian conservation officials have discovered the carcass of an endangered leopard, which is believed to have been killed by poachers.
Staff of the Green Forest Conservation group in Calcutta's Ripu reserve forest found a leopard that had been shot three times and skinned near the Saralbhanga River in the Kachugoan division.
Identified as the sub-species Pantheras Purdus, it is believed the animal was killed for its skin, which retains a high value on the international market.
RN Boro, the divisional forest officer, told the Indian Telegraph: "The animal was probably killed in the morning as the flesh was still warm. And the way the skin was removed from the body, it indicates an expert hand."
In recent years, the leopard has witnessed population declines due to increased hunting and loss of habitat, particularly in Asia.
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