A four-year-old female leopard died from a suspected tranquilliser overdose on Monday as foresters tried to rescue it from a snare set by a villager in Mahuva taluka of Surat district.
On Saturday,the leopard was noosed around the stomach by a nylon rope snare set by Bikhu Patel,a farmer from Tarkani village.
Patel,52,was angered by the leopard having killed some of his hens and chickens,which he reared in his backyard,District Forest Officer (DFO) A G Vasava said,adding,the snare appeared meant to trap the animal by it’s limbs rather than around the torso.
When foresters came to know of the trapping on Monday morning,they went to the spot with a veterinary doctor.
There they found the predator hanging a few feet from the ground,with it’s rear half paralysed from a lack of blood circulation,cut off as it was by the nylon that wrung it.
The veterinarian examined the leopard’s condition,weight and age,and administered it a tranquillizer shot accordingly. That was around 11.30 am. The plan was to take the animal to a veterinary hospital back in Surat,but around 2 pm,the leopard died. It was a complicated case, said Vasava,adding a post mortem has been ordered.
Patel,the farmer who set the snare,has been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act for killing a schedule-I animal the sentence carries with it a penalty of not less than a year’s imprisonment which may be extended to seven years and a fine of not less than Rs 5,000.
Vasava said Patel would most likely be arrested on Tuesday.