By Rao Jaswant Singh
GURGAON: The lifeless body of a female leopard with serious injuries was found on the golf course of a luxury resort on the foothills of the Aravallis in Manesar earlier this week. The forest department has ordered a probe to find out if the leopard was beaten to death or was injured in a fight with another animal in the adjoining forest area and took refuge in the golf course.
The leopard's carcass was discovered by the ITC golf course staff on Wednesday morning. After the police was informed, a team of forest officials arrived at the resort, took custody of the body and sent it for autopsy. An initial probe found no trap in the area, indicating it wasn't an act of poaching, an official said.
Vinod Kumar, conservator of forests (wildlife) in Gurgaon, told TOI the leopard was nine months old. "Due to the serious nature of the incident, we rushed a team of officials to the spot for fact-finding," he said. "The animal was taken into custody and sent for post mortem by a panel of four doctors. The report, which was received on Friday, said the animal had serious injuries on its neck and leg, which resulted in its death." The leopard was cremated in the forest in the presence of senior officials, as the law prescribes, Kumar added.
Another forest official, who visited the spot, told TOI the body of the leopard was lying on the ground. "The resort staff told us they spotted the body around 6.15am on Wednesday when they visited the ground for routine chores," he added.
Ravi Puri, CEO of the ITC golf resort, told TOI, "I came to know about the incident when my staff at the resort called on Wednesday. I immediately directed them to inform the local police and ensure the animal's dead body is not touched by anyone."He also said it was first time he had seen a leopard in the area.