Kilinochchi leopard caught in snare rescued by wildlife officers

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Snares are the worst death traps for Sri Lankan leopards and their latest would-have-been victim is from Kilinochchi. This leopard was lucky to survive due to the timely and brave action by the wildlife officers of Vavuniya. As soon they received the message, the officers had rushed to the site in Kilinochchi.

They found the leopard in an exhausted state after trying to free itself from the snare. Usually when a leopard gets caught in a snare, the wire tightens around its crotch area damaging the vital internal organs such as the kidneys.

A leopard has to be usually sedated before anyone can get close to it, however, the wildlife veterinarian of the region was engaged in another duty, so there was nobody to tranquilize this trapped leopard.

However the officials realizing that there was no time to be wasted and since the animal appeared to be exhausted they thought of a new tactic to get close enough to it to cut the wire of the snare.

They secured themselves inside a steel cage and got close to the leopard. Holding the exhausted leopard to the ground by using a few sticks, they succeeded in cutting the wire by using a long handled tool. The leopard slowly made its way back to the jungle and although it was exhausted, the officers believed it would survive.

It is believed that a local cattle breeder has setup the snare to trap a leopard which had killed several of his cattle.

Published on Online edition of SundayTimes on 01.05.2011 http://sundaytimes.lk/110501/News/nws_01103.html

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