Leopard run over by vehicle on highway near Sathyamangalam

A three-year-old female leopard was fatally knocked down by a speeding vehicle on the Bannari to Hasanur road (National Highway 209) running through Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR), early on Friday morning.
Leopard run over by vehicle on highway near Sathyamangalam
The female leopard that was run over by a vehicle on Bannari-Hasanur Road in Erode district


The animal which was thrown away to the road side died on the spot, just half a kilometre from the Forest Department check post around 5.30 am.
“The animal could have been chasing another animal at the time of the accident. Truck drivers who noticed the animal informed the check post staff who rushed to the spot and found that it was dead. Since it was raining we could not get tyre marks to find out the vehicle involved in the incident,” said a senior forest department officer in the STR. It was injured on its hind limb and also had multiple internal haemorrhages, he added.
STR wildlife veterinary officer K Asokan performed an autopsy on the leopard’s carcass in the presence of STR Field Director I Anwardeen, Deputy Director PG Arunlal, Wildlife Warden Kandasamy and representatives of the village forest committee and a wildlife NGO. The carcass was then burnt and disposed according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority protocol.
The officer, who inspected the place said that such incidents were rare on the NH-209 that runs through the STR for about 16 km from Bannari to Dhimbam. “We have speed breakers to ensure that wild animals don’t get killed. This has been effective as the leopard death that was last reported here was about two to three years ago,” he said.
Forest Department personnel said that they will soon lay more speed breakers, place barricades and erect sign boards asking vehicles to slow down, due to animal movement in the stretch running through the forest. Activist Vanam S Chandradekar suggested installation of CCTV cameras at the check posts to identify such vehicles. He also said that surprise checks would be conducted on the highway and heavy fines imposed on erring drivers.

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