Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN 14 December 2009, 07:01am IST
NAGPUR: Close on the heels of poaching of a tiger near Nagzira, a full-grown leopard was found dead under mysterious circumstances near Asola village, 37 kms from Nagpur, on Sunday morning.
According to official sources, carcass of the adult male leopard (seven years) was first noticed at 10 am on revenue land in survey number 42 by some shepherds who informed the Butibori Forest Range officials. On receiving information, senior officials including chief wildlife warden AK Joshi, CCF for Nagpur wildlife circle Nandkishore, CCF for Nagpur territorial circle Krishna Mohan, CF of Nagpur division N Rambabu and ACF GC Ingole rushed to the spot.
Officials said all the vital body parts including nails, whiskers and skin of the leopard are intact and possibility of hunting has been ruled out. Post-mortem performed by a veterinary doctor showed that there was no food in the stomach. They said the carcass of the animal must be lying at the spot for the past three days as maggots were found on the body.
Senior officials said samples have been collected and real cause of death will be known only after the forensic reports come in. "Prima facie it looks the death may be due to suspected poisoning or it could be a natural death. We will investigate all possible angles," an official said seeking anonymity. He added there were no reports of any leopard menace from the villagers, which could indicate revenge killing. The carcass of the leopard was later burnt near the spot.
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