Two leopards caught in trap, one dies

Trap for catching wild animals (Snaring)
Trap for catching wild animals (Snaring)

A leopard caught in a trap set by poachers died a painful death, while another sustained grievous injuries after falling into another trap set up elsewhere. The leopards, both around a year old, were found in Palampur area in Dharamshala district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh (HP) on Sunday (18-02-2018).

Poaching activities increase during winter season as leopards and other animals come down from high reaches after snowfall.

Trap made from a brake wire ensnares the animal and tightens slowly around their limbs or body as the panicked animal tries to escape.

Senior veterinarian with state forest and wildlife department, Dr Vipin Kumar told that they were informed by local residents about these leopards. “They were in Rakha Bali area, both were males. One has died and other is seriously injured. He is almost 80% injured. We have put him under treatment at Gopalpur Zoo,” he said. Kumar has been assisting other officials in the rescue of wild animals.

Videos shot by the local people show how the snare wire almost cut one of the leopards into two.

Conservator of forests at district headquarters, Pardeep Thakur said this is one of the rare incidents and the department had already taken strict measures against poachers. “Field staff was specially instructed to do patrolling of the area during this season and take action against poachers. Not many incidents have happened this year. We will look into this matter too and the officer concerned will be held 

Last year, animal activists in the region had complained to police about these traps which are giving painful deaths to the animals. But nothing much has been done in this regard.

There are two types of traps one made from a brake wire and the other is a kind of low intensity explosive hidden inside food which explodes inside the animal’s mouth. Both of these traps catch innocent stray and pet animals, causing them to die extremely painful and slow deaths.

“These traps are used mostly for killing wild boars, but it is also leading to injuries to cows and dogs. If a cow gets into a wire trap, it cuts the leg. Most dogs become victims of explosive traps,” said Yogesh Kumar, a social worker in Kangra.

Superintendent police Santosh Patial said they would inquire into this incident and will nab the persons who are active in poaching activities. “I have instructed the local police station to inquire into this matter as it falls under animal cruelty” he said. (Times of India)

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