Rashmi Ranjan

At a time the unabated deaths of elephants in the State have triggered an outrage among the animal lovers, the recovery of a decomposed carcass of a leopard from Dudurkote forest under Hindol forest range in Dhenkanal district on Wednesday has raised serious questions on the safety of wild animals in Odisha.

Though the exact reason behind the death of the leopard is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that the big cat might have died a couple of days back.

With the recent death, the forest range has recorded two leopard deaths within a year. Earlier on 20 May 2022, a leopard had died in the forest range, sources informed.

Meanwhile, a team of forest department officials has reached the spot and launched an investigation to ascertain the circumstances leading to the death of the leopard.

“We got information that the carcass of a leopard was lying. The leopard is believed to have died one or two days ago. The exact reason behind the death is still unknown and no traps were also found at the spot. An investigation into the matter is on,” said Prakash Chand Gogineni, Dhenkanal Divisional Forest Officer (DFO).

Recently, a leopard cat and an elephant were found dead at Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district. While the leopard cat’s carcass was found on Monday, a decomposed carcass of an elephant with its tusks missing was found in the national park on Sunday.

It is suspected that the elephant was killed by poachers and its tusks were removed.

(Reported by Rajashree Satpathy, OTV)