• Post-mortem report suggests the feline died from a head injury
  • The leopard had jumped a roadside wall while trying to cross the highway
  • Activists have demanded construction of underpasses on highways in the area

A two-year-old female leopard was found dead Monday from a suspected hit-and-run case near a wildlife sanctuary in the Indian state of Haryana.

The incident was reported by traffic police at around 10:15 a.m. Monday but is said to have taken place earlier in the day. The leopard was found lying dead with face injuries by the side of Surajkund road near the Asola Bhatti wildlife sanctuary in Faridabad, reported The Hindu.

According to Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Mahender Singh Malik, the leopard strayed onto the road while hunting and was hit by a speeding vehicle. Both the sides of the road had walls, but the feline was able to scale them easily.

“The carcass of the two-year-old female leopard was sent for a post-mortem examination, which suggests that it died due to a head injury after being hit by a vehicle around 4 a.m. on Monday,” said Raj Kumar, the divisional forest officer for Faridabad.

The road and its surrounding area are considered ecologically sensitive due to the nearby wildlife sanctuary. Over the past few years, other wild animals such as Nilgai antelopes, jackals and monkeys have either died or sustained injuries in accidents while crossing the roads passing through the Aravalli range near Gurugram and Faridabad.

In less than a year, two leopards, including this two-year-old feline, have died in road accidents in the Faridabad area.

“We cannot call it a leopard corridor as such, but there is significant movement of leopards in the region,” added Kumar. “This is the first such case to be reported this year but roadkill incidents have been seen in this region before. Last year in October, a leopard was killed in a road accident near Mangar village on Gurugram-Faridabad road.”

For years wildlife activists have been advocating the construction of underpasses in accident-prone areas on the Gurugram-Faridabad highways to provide animals with safe passage in Aravallis. They have also demanded that strict speed restrictions be imposed and speed breakers built in such areas to prevent more accidents.

There have also been several incidents of leopards or other wild animals entering residential areas and attacking civilians in various Indian regions.

Earlier this month, a leopard reportedly dragged a four-year-old girl and mauled her to death near Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district. The child's body parts were later found in the forest.

Leopard | Representational Image pixabay