Udupi, Feb 11, 2018 (IE): A leopard which strayed into a village died in an open well at Mandarthi in Udupi district on Saturday, police said.
It is now alleged that as forest officials arrived late at the scene without proper equipment to rescue the leopard, it died before being lifted from the well. The male leopard was apparently four years old and it was chasing a prey at night on Friday before falling into the well. A local resident spotted the leopard and informed forest department officials at around 7.30 am.
Forest officials arrived at the spot at 9 am without proper equipment required to lift the leopard from the well, locals alleged. The officials reported the matter to their higher authorities. By the time the actual rescue operation began, it was too late as the leopard was fighting for its life for more than six hours. Ultimately the leopard drowned in the presence of the forest officials, it is said.
An expert diver retrieved the leopard’s carcass an the post-mortem was conducted at Hardalli-Mandalli. Local people said that if a wooden log had been held for the leopard to stay afloat, it could have been saved.
The local people also said the frequency of sighting of leopards has increased in and around Mandarthi, but officials do nothing.