TODAY -

Leopard's presence suspected in National Park
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 19, 2012: Likelihood of Leopard (s) prowling at the Keibul Lamjao National Park area is being investigated based on claims by locals settled in the sanctuary's periphery that a pig was recently devoured by a leopard-like animal, said a Forest Department official.

The official confided to The Sangai Express of Khordak locals claiming about 10 days back that the pig was devoured by a leopard-like animal based on which forest guards have been alerted to protect other endangered species at the Park.

Along with keeping the forest guards on high alert round the clock, teams have been formed to survey the sanctuary areas, including Khordak village which lies at the edge of the National Park.

During one of the surveys, some unfamiliar pug marks were spotted and consequently the images have been sent to Wildlife Institute of India with the latter too conveying strong suspicion that the pug marks might be of a leopard, said the official while adding that after confirmation of the report tranquillizer expert/ shooter from Assam would be called in to conduct further investigation.

It is also said that a meeting of Forest Department officials, also attended by the State's Principal Chief Conservator deliberated on the matter today.

While informing that there is no report about the leopard, if any, killing or injuring animals inside the Keibul Lamjao National Park upto now, the official expressed that as there is no past record about presence of Leopards in the Park, the one villagers claimed to have spotted might have arrived from other parts of the State or beyond.

According to environmentalist Dr Kh Shamungou there is strong possibility of the Leopard, if any, foraying, into the Park area from the jungles of Churachandpur district.

Dr Shamunzou, who is currently taking part in the survey/study of Keibul Lamjao National Park along with Forest Department personnel, also speculated that even though the animal spotted by the villagers may not be a Leopard, it is most likely be one of the feline species.


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