Bengaluru: Wildlife activists have questioned the state's drive to radio- collar leopards, after one such leopard died while being taken to a release site.
The forest officials had trapped a 5-year-old male leopard in Hassan after its repeated attempts to kill livestock in the nearby villages. Vetenary teams from Mysore were called to collar the cat after it was trapped. The leopard was supposed to be released at Alagur Range near Bheemeshwari, but the leopard died on the way.
Wildlife activists allege the animal’s death was a result of stress. However, forest department officials claim that the cat might have suffered internal injuries as it was mobbed by villagers before the forest rescue teams reached the site.
“They threw stones at the animal and it could have caused internal injuries,” said G S Prabhu, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) of the state. But activists believe that an injured leopard should not have been collared.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests listed out guidelines for rescue and release of leopards. “The guidelines restrict long term travel plans for captured animal for release. It states that the success of translocation or release of leopard has to be measured and evaluated against appropriate post-release monitoring protocols,” it states.