Wednesday, December 31, 2008

India: Lions maul female leopard near Gir sanctuary

Amreli (PTI): A female leopard was killed by a group of about four lions in a conflict that lasted for an hour near Gadhia village outside Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, forest officials said on Tuesday.

"We found the carcass of the female leopard, in Dalkhania range of Dhari outside Gir, with teeth marks of lions on its neck on Sunday. From investigations it seems that the animals might have had a fierce battle," Deputy Forest Conservator of Dhari range Maniswar Raja said.

"We also found pug marks of three to four lions at the spot and post-mortem reports also confirmed that the female leopard was killed by the lions," Raja added.

"We cannot state the exact reason for the fight between the animals. The fight could have been over the territorial issue or the female leopard may have crossed the path of the lions," Raja said.

He termed the incident as rare.

"Lions are dominant animals and leopards prefer to stay out of their way. So the killing of the female leopard is a very rare phenomenon," he further said.

"We have seen sometimes that when a leopard kills a prey, lions chase it away and eat the prey," Raja said.

In the last five years, just two other incidents of leopard killings by lions have been reported in the Gir forest area — one in Dasada range and one in Dhari range.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200812301913.htm

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