Leopard rescued in West Bengal

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Jalpaiguri (WB), Aug 13 (ANI): Wildlife officials rescued a male leopard from a tea garden in Jalpaiguri of West Bengal.

Locals from in and around the tea garden crowded the cage to have a glimpse of the wounded animal that had unleashed fear in the area.

Dipendra Nath Saha, the range officer of the Khunia said the leopard was trapped as it was terrorising the garden workers.

"This is the fourth rescue of its kind from this region in a span of two months. This leopard was doing damage to the garden workers," Saha added.

With tiger population dwindling in recent years as a result of poaching, wildlife officials say hunters have increasingly set their sights on leopards, killing them for their skins as well as bones, claws and penises for use in traditional Asian medicines.

Depletion of their habitat has also threatened the leopards, forcing them to stray into human settlements-attacking people and cattle-and often getting killed in return.

India had about 7,300 leopards in the wild according to a 1997 census, but conservationists say the number is now likely to be much lower. (ANI)

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