Eighteen-year-old female leopard Meera, a captive resident of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali, died around 5.30 pm on Sunday.
Veterinarians from the park said that the wild cat died due to old age. “The postmortem revealed that her death was due to old age. She had no illnesses and was fine until yesterday. We found her lying motionless in the cage and on checking realised she had died,” said Dr Shailesh Pethe, veterinarian at SGNP.
The average lifespan of a leopard is 12 to 14 years in the wild and in captivity it lives up to 14-16 years. “She has lived a long life. She was healthy and eating fine until yesterday morning. We suddenly found her dead in the secondary cage,” said Anwar Ahmad, SGNP director.
Park officials said that Meera was brought to the park in 2003 when she was around four-year-old. “She was rescued from a man-animal conflict
and had come to the park with a cut leg. Since then she has been in the rescue centre,” Ahmad added. On January 29 last year, the national park had lost its oldest captive leopard 18-year-old Krishna. She too had died due to old age.