While we regularly come across disturbing incidents where villagers kill leopards for trespassing in their territories, in a welcome change, villagers of Kepran, about 90 km north of the capital city, caught a clouded leopard that had reportedly been spreading terror in the village over the last year and handed it over to concerned officials. The leopard, said to have killed over a hundred domestic animals, was caught in a trap and was handed over to officials of the environment, forests and climate change department.
According to the Association for Environment Protection (ASEP), the leopard had been lurking in the village for over a year. Leaders of the organisation said the clouded leopard, known as kelral in the local Mizo language, had been deprived of its natural habitat because of degradation of forests. ‘The leopard turned rogue after it faced acute scarcity of food. This resulted in it seeking food in the village,’ the environment protection group said. The ASEP also lauded the villagers for not killing the leopard.
The environment, forests and climate change department will now send the leopard to the Aizawl Zoological Garden or set it free in a wildlife sanctuary.