Leopard killed in road accident

A two-year-old female leopard was fatally knocked down by a speeding vehicle on Surajkund Road here on Monday.

Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Mahender Singh Malik said the accident took place near Asola Bhatti wildlife sanctuary in the early hours. A board of doctors has been set up for autopsy. A video taken after the accident showed the leopard lying dead by the roadside with injuries to its face.

Mr. Malik said the leopard strayed onto the road to hunt and was hit by a vehicle. Though there were walls on both sides of the road, the feline could easily scale them.

Two leopards, including the present one, have died in road accidents in Faridabad in less than a year, said Mr. Malik. Similarly, two-three leopard deaths have been reported in road accidents in Gurugram’s Manesar area as well.

Besides leopards, other wild animals such as jackals, monkeys and neelgais have died or sustained injuries in accidents in Gurugram and Faridabad over the past few years while crossing the roads passing through the Aravalis. Wildlife activists have been demanding that underpasses be constructed on these roads to allow safe passage to wild animals in Aravalis.

Mr. Malik said three culverts on National Highway-48 were choked with mud and the Forest Department had written to the Public Works Department to open them. “If these culverts are opened and the road is fenced for around 2 km around them, the animals can use them to cross the road,” said Mr. Malik.

Environmentalist Jitender Bhadana said the accident happened in the area protected under Sections 4 and 5 of Punjab Land Preservation Act — the only law which restricts non-forestry activities in Haryana — but the government policies are against the forests and wildlife of Aravalis. “There is no concrete law on wildlife protection in Haryana and the Union laws are ignored. The Haryana government has recently pursued a case to open mining in the same territory,” said Mr. Bhadana, founder member of “Save Aravali Trust”, a non-government organisation.

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