By Paul Fernandes
PANAJI: Leopards were rarely killed despite man-animal conflicts, but the death of a big cat in Tishem, Borim has surprised forest officials as it was shot with a crude weapon.
After a postmortem on the carcass of the leopard, forest officials found eight bullets inside and also four scars formed by bullets on its neck.
The officials are now trying to investigate an angle that local poachers could have used a locally made gun to hunt wild life, and may have killed the leopard under the presumption that it was a wild boar under the cover of darkness.
The carcass was found in a cashew plantation and there is a pond nearby. The poachers may have been lying in wait for wild boars or other wildlife and shot at it, thinking that it was wild board, sources said.
Leopards have been seen in the area at Borim, as it has a backdrop of thick forests. A few have been trapped and taken away after locals complained about their sighting in residential areas.