Snare Kills a Nuwara Eliya Leopard


An adult male leopard fell victim to a wire snare and died at Sithaeliya in Nuwara Eliya last Sunday (23rd.Jan). According to eyewitnesses, the incident occurred only about 25m away from the main road.

Poachers usually resort to wire snares rigged out of cables used in motorbikes or trishaws to catch game animals such as wild boar. However, sources say the leopard which was seen crossing the road several times in this area could have been the target.

Several leopards had already fallen victim to these deadly wire snares, including a rare black leopard in Deniyaya in 2009. Leopards live in Hill Country are more illusive and another one died in 2008 at Nanuoya. When a leopard gets caught to a snare, the wire tightens around its abdomen. On its attempt to break free, the snare further tightens, which ultimately results in damage to its internal organs.

Wildlife veterinary surgeon Dr.W.A.Dharmakerthi who performed the postmortem on the Seethaeliya leopard, said the wire had damaged the leopard’s kidneys, resulting in its death. Dr.Dharmakeerthi advices the public not to disturb a leopard caught in a snare. When the leopard sees people, the animal panics and struggles to escape, which results in the wire tightening and causing more damage. “So the best thing to do its to get away from there and immediately call wildlife officers who can tranquilize the animal to set it free” says Dr.Dharmakeerthi. He managed to release another leopard caught in Minneriya about a year back as he could act faster upon the information he received.

Published on SundayTimes on 30.01.2011  (page 06)

Leopards killed by Snares from past news reports..

*  Rare black beauty caught in snare (08.03.2009):

* Callous death traps and the death of a leopard (14.05.2008):

More photos of Seethaeliya Leopard


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