A young leopard was found dead on the Panchkula-Barwala stretch of the National Highway (NH-73) near Nada Sahib Gurdwara, early Tuesday morning.
According to forest department officials, it was a male leopard and was aged around 2.5 years.
Ruling out possibility of any foul play, Inspector Harbhajan Singh, Station House Officer (SHO), Chandimandir Police Station, said that the death was caused by a road accident.
“The body was found around 3 am near a bridge on the highway, near the Gurdwara. It was hit by a speeding vehicle which fled away after the accident. The forest department officials were informed and they have taken the body,” said Singh.
The body was buried after conducting the post mortem.
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This is the third such case in the past two months, where a leopard was found dead in Panchkula. “This is extremely unfortunate,” said M L Rajvanshi,IFS, Conservator of Forests (CF), (Wildlife) Panchkula, adding that all three leopards were young and are belong to the 1.5-3 age-group.
“All three of them were young. At this age-group, they are weaned away from their mothers and have to go in search of food for themselves. Since they are not able to kill alarge prey, they move towards human habitations where they can find easy victims like dogs. Dogs are preferred by leopards. As dawn breaks, they return to the forests in confusion and get killed on the roads,” said Rajvanshi.
Highlighting that there are over 60 leopards in the Shivalik range, he said the population is scattered along the Morni belt.
The first incident was reported early September, when a young leopardess was found dead tangled in barbed wires on the boundary of Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) near Ramgarh. The forest officials had concluded that the animal died of a heart attack.Another young leopard was found dead on the Raipur Rani-Morni road in the wee hours on October 4.
According to the police, it was hit by a speeding vehicle as tyre marks were also found on the body and at the spot.