The rare black leopard that was rescued from a trap on Tuesday has died. Wildlife officials in Sri Lanka sedated him and brought him to a center for further care. The cause of death is unknown.
The black leopard got caught in a snare that was placed there by an unknown person. Villagers from Nuwara Eliya had called for help after hearing the animal screaming in pain.
“People living in and around these estates must know that it is illegal to lay traps for wild animals,” veterinarian Mahasath Wadaviarachchi told Derana TV.
Officials tranquilized the animal with a dart, treated its wounds, and then took it to a nearby conservation office for further treatment. The leopard, who was probably eight years old, died there.
Animal rights activists in Sri Lanka wonder if the animal died because the sedation and aftercare weren’t performed correctly by wildlife authorities. On Facebook, they ask whether the country’s veterinary doctors are trained well enough to handle wildlife animals.
This isn’t the first time a leopard dies after being rescued by wildlife officials in the country. A month ago, a leopard died in Maskeliya after being ‘rescued’ from a tree.