A 10-month-old female leopard was found dead on Gurgaon-Faridabad road Saturday night, with officials from the forest department suspecting it was run over by a heavy vehicle.
Officials said the incident took place around 8 pm, around 1 km from the Pali police post on the Faridabad side. “The death of a female sub-adult leopard was reported… on Saturday night. Traffic police removed the carcass from the spot and wildlife officials were informed. A post-mortem was done on January 27,” said Vinod Kumar, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.
Officials said the medical team which conducted the autopsy reported “severe internal injuries” and “ruptured organs”, leading to the suspicion that the animal was run over by a heavy vehicle. “We cremated the remains on Sunday. A cremation by burning is preferred, as it eliminates any chance of the body being exhumed or organs being taken by locals,” said Kumar.
This is not the first incident of a leopard being run over on busy roads in Gurgaon. In May 2015, an eight-month-old female leopard was found dead along the same stretch, with officials claiming the animal appeared to have died after a head-on collision with a passing vehicle. In another incident, a 12-year-old male leopard was found dead near Manesar, with officials saying it was hit by a vehicle.
Acknowledging this, Kumar said, “This incident again draws attention to the urgent need to make a right of way for animals in areas that, even if they are not protected, have a high concentration of wildlife.”
Environmentalists have long been demanding a “wildlife corridor”, so that animals can cross the area without actually having to go through the vehicles.
“The issue is that the Gurgaon-Faridabad road skirts Asola Sanctuary in the north and travels west to east, while the area south of that is a huge part of the Aravallis where leopards breed. The animals travel between Asola and Aravallis, north to south or vice-versa, and have to cross Gurgaon-Faridabad road in the process,” said environmental analyst Chetan Agarwal.
“There has to be a wildlife corridor across the road, such as an overpass or underpass… Or a flyover can be made along the 2-3 km stretch where the road is adjacent to the sanctuary, so that vehicles are not travelling at road level, and there is no danger to wildlife,” he added.
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