Fourth leopard found dead in erstwhile Anantapur district in two months

No signs of poaching found on the big cat’s carcass; officials suspect severe shortage of water sources in the forests to be the cause of the deaths

April 04, 2024 06:29 pm | Updated 07:31 pm IST - ANANTAPUR

The carcass of a leopard found atop a hill at Bheemunipalle village in Anantapur district on Thursday.

The carcass of a leopard found atop a hill at Bheemunipalle village in Anantapur district on Thursday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A male leopard was found dead on a hillock near Bheemunipalle village of Peddavaduguru mandal, 50km from here, on Thursday, April 4.

A couple of youths rearing sheep had spotted the carcass amidst dry bushes atop the hill. Initially, they thought the big cat was asleep and threw stones, only to find that it was dead. Forest officials arrived there upon receiving the information and conducted a preliminary inquiry.

District Forest Officer Vineeth Kumar stated that examining the leopard’s carcass did not reveal any signs of poaching. “All the body parts were intact, and no external injuries were found on the big cat. However, we collected blood samples and the viscera for forensic testing and sent the body for postmortem. The reason for the leopard’s death will be determined after the report is obtained,” he said.

It is worth mentioning that this is the fourth leopard to be found dead in the combined Anantapur district in the last two months. While three were found with no suspicion of poaching, one leopard was killed after being hit by an unknown vehicle near Penukonda in Sri Sathya Sai district.

A severe shortage of water sources in the forest areas is believed to be the reason behind these wild feline deaths, say the officials.

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