Ill leopard dies at Gwalior zoo

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Gwalior (MP), May 14 (ANI): A male leopard, which has been under treatment died in Gandhi Zoological Park in Gwalior on May 12.

Authorities said that the leopard was brought to the zoological park 18 months ago when its one paw and many teeth were missing. The leopard was kept in a separate enclosure.

"There are many reasons to its death. Firstly, its one leg was missing due to previous injury and it had difficulty in walking. Secondly, most of its teeth were missing and it was not able to eat properly. We used to feed it soft meat and help it to eat. Thirdly, because of its missing leg, it could not mingle with female leopards and the females used to attack him due to which we used to keep him isolated from the rest," said Dr. Santosh Kumar Mittal, Veterinarian, Gandhi Zoological Park, Gwalior.

India's leopards are under threat, with increasing numbers of these spotted feline beauties being poached for their hide and body parts.

The decreasing leopard population in India is a cause for concern. Wildlife officials say poachers have increasingly set their sights on leopards, killing them for their skin as well as bones for use in traditional Oriental medicines.

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

According to Wildlife Protection Society of India, despite being an endangered and protected species at least 228 leopards have been killed since January 2006. By Ashok (ANI)

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