POSTED AT 07:32 AM 20-04-2019
Pada Yathra pilgrims warned of agitated leopard
Safari Trackers of the Kumana National Park where a leopard had mauled a labourer and caused serious injuries to a jeep driver insist that the Wildlife Department should intervene as there had been warnings sounded by trackers of an imminent attack by this leopard prior to the incident on Wednesday.
Safari Trackers whom the Daily News spoke to said that there had been warnings sounded by them of a fierce leopard that was visibly agitated by the presence of people both pilgrims and workers in the particular area.
The trackers insist that the Wildlife Department should do more to educate Pada Yathra pilgrims of the risks when venturing into the same area where the incident had taken place.
Alternatives include capturing and caging the animal until further action.
“We knew that this area was troublesome and had warned people to avoid it,” he said.
The trackers say that the labourers who were from Panama were afraid of the leopard and had frequently sighted the animal. It was an indication that the leopard had felt very territorial. The tracker said that this leopard had tried to attack a wildlife officer last year.
Wildlife Department Director General Chandana Sooriyabandara told the Daily News that the department would investigate if the Leopard was showing signs of abnormalities or was suffering from wounds which had resulted in it being so agitated.
“There is nothing we can do since we are the ones intruding and trespassing on their territory. We have however advised tourists to avoid the area in future.”
He said that the workers were known to the Wildlife Department had been working for nearly a month int the area. He however added that they were provided sufficient security, which had been noted in their daily log books.