An eighteen-year-old leopard died in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on Friday evening. Leopard Daksha died of old age and a brief period of ailment, said Vikas Gupta, chief conservator of forest, SGNP. This is the third case in a month at the national park.
The leopard was found dead by forest officials around 8.45 pm. “The female leopard was old. Her left hind claw nail had grown inwards and injured her,” said an officials.
Dr Sanjiv Pinjarkar, a veterinary surgeon, SGNP, said, “Most of the leopards here 15 years, or older. Age-related problems are the main cause of death.”
This is the second leopard death case in the park in less than a week. On October 27, 15-year-old Raja too died of oldage. Earlier this month, on October 14, an 11-year-old lioness had died due to her uterine problems, leaving behind three-year old cubs Jespa and Gopa (female).
Leopard Daksha had been rescued from Nashik in 2001 and was one of the 17 earlier abandoned or grievously injured leopards that are at present kept in enclosures at the national park.
According to a camera-trap survey conducted by the forest department in 2011-12, the park is home to 21 free-roaming leopards apart from the captive leopards. The SGNP authorities have now roped in experts from the Wildlife Institute of India to conduct a leopard population estimation in December.