A leopard, that was caught in a snare and then rescued by forest officials from Rajapete Thanda (hamlet) in Marriguda mandal of Telangana’s Nalgonda district on Thursday morning, has died.
The male leopard, which was around 7 years old, died while it was being shifted to the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad and the rescue team was headed by Dr Asadullah, Veterinary Assistant Surgeon at the park.
The team of doctors certified that the cause of death was due to internal haemorrhages, shock and asphyxia.
Visuals from earlier in the day showed a team of officials trying to capture the leopard which in turn charged at two of the officials, injuring them.
According to residents, a farmer saw the leopard trapped in a fence in his field and informed forest officials, who in turn roped in a zoo rescue team from Hyderabad.
Officials initially tried to dart the animal with a tranquiliser, but instead, the leopard pounced on Shiva, a zookeeper and Usman, a local forest beat officer.
District Forest Officer (DFO) Shantha Rao, who was part of the rescue operation, told TNM, "Initially it got stuck inside the fencing of the papaya field as it ventured through a hilly area. As it was stuck, veterinarians tried tranquilising it with a dart, but it attacked two officials as it got agitated in a bid to escape the scene."
The dramatic visuals of the incident show the leopard charging at the officials, who tried to escape. The leopard then pounces and attacks one of them.
The leopard was eventually caught. The DFO said, "As the first attempt failed, it went under a jeep where officials have used a net to catch it. The leopard was then tranquillised. We have caged it and the leopard has been sent to the Nehru Zoological Park Hyderabad. It was healthy and not having any issues."
According to the DFO, the leopard is male and expected to be 6-8 years old. It is also healthy. Forest officials said that the leopard killed a sheep near the papaya field. The DFO said that it could have come from a forest nearby. He said a leopard was earlier sighted in the neighbourhood.
Zookeeper Shiva, who was injured in the attack, has been shifted to Hyderabad’ for further treatment. He suffered minor injuries and his condition is reported to be stable. Usman was treated at Marriguda Primary Health Care Center (PHC) and discharged.
The DFO said that both the injured staff will be provided required medical treatment.
In a separate incident, two weeks ago, in Hyderabad amid lockdown a leopard was spotted lingering on a median of a road near the underpass bridge of Milardevpally. It had attacked a person who came in close contact with it. The officials examined CCTV footage in the area and used drone cameras to find the animal. However, the search proved unsuccessful with officials suspecting that the animal may have returned to its habitation in the Shamshabad forests.