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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Death of the mountain leopard: Final report handed over to Minister

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The final report on the death of the mountain leopard at Somerville Estate has been handed over to the Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera.

The ministry said the three-member committee appointed to inquire the death of a leopard, handed over its report.

According to the report, the investigations conducted revealed that the leopard died due to damage caused to its internal organs after having been caught in a trap made of wire and hanging from a tall tree for hours, and report further said the wild animal was not crushed by the felled tree at Somerville Estate tea field.

However, cutting the tree to save the beast was not approved, however, there was no other option to save the mountain leopard in such a difficult place with the minimum facilities around. But the wildlife officials tried their best to save the predator’s life, under arduous circumstances.

The carcass of the leopard was handed over to the Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation.

The report proposed 25 recommendations on protecting the leopard population by the committee that investigated the death of the beast.

Effective implementation of circular 10/2020, monitoring, follow-up, updating of the circular according to current needs, as well as provision of equipment, machines and necessary equipment are required for rescuing endangered animals, especially portable equipment for the use in the hilly areas. The committee has pointed out that equipment, tools as well as 100 meters of strong rope should be provided.

In order to remove the backward opinion of the villagers regarding the protection of such animals, attention should also be paid to the establishment of wildlife protection committees at village level to save the endangered animals and send information quickly.

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