The animal was trapped at H.D. Kote and radio-collared
: A leopard was found dead with its legs entwined in the branches of a tree at Kalahalli village in Jayapura hobli about 20 km from Mysore on Friday.
The four-year-old leopard was a radio-collared animal, and was the same animal that was trapped by the Forest Department at H.D. Kote on March 21 and released into the Nagarahole National Park.
V. Karikalan, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Mysore Division, told The Hindu that they received information around 10.30 a.m. on Friday that a leopard was found dead and rushed to the spot.
The carcass was found about 30 feet from the ground and was lowered for examination.
While the immediate cause of death is not clear, post-mortem reports indicate that there was severe bacterial infection of the heart, liver and spleen. “We have collected the viscera and other samples from the carcass and sent it to the laboratory for analysis,” Mr. Karikalan said.
“The information we received was that a leopard was found dead on a tree and the carcass had been hanging for two days,” he said. But rigor mortis had not set in and the carcass had not putrefied.
Dr. Nagaraj, veterinarian, and his team, which conducted the post-mortem, suspect the death to have occurred about seven to eight hours before locals sighted the carcass.
No external injuries
A careful examination of the carcass indicated that there were no external injuries near the neck or in the oesophagus, ruling out death due to external factors, he added. It is suspected that the leopard was perched atop the tree and when it died its leg may have got entwined in the branches.
Mr. Karikalan said the leopard’s movement had been monitored continuously till recently. It was last tracked at Malleshwara Betta near Chamalapura last month.
But a wildlife biologist, who was monitoring its movement, described it as missing after some days following quarrying activities in the region. But due to some technical problem in the collar, the authorities had lost track of it over month ago.