Snares are the worst death traps for Sri Lankan leopards and their latest would-have-been victim is from Kilinochchi. This leopard was lucky to survive due to the timely and brave action by the wildlife officers of Vavuniya. As soon they received the message, the officers had rushed to the site in Kilinochchi.
They found the leopard in an exhausted state after trying to free itself from the snare. Usually when a leopard gets caught in a snare, the wire tightens around its crotch area damaging the vital internal organs such as the kidneys.
A leopard has to be usually sedated before anyone can get close to it, however, the wildlife veterinarian of the region was engaged in another duty, so there was nobody to tranquilize this trapped leopard.
However the officials realizing that there was no time to be wasted and since the animal appeared to be exhausted they thought of a new tactic to get close enough to it to cut the wire of the snare.
They secured themselves inside a steel cage and got close to the leopard. Holding the exhausted leopard to the ground by using a few sticks, they succeeded in cutting the wire by using a long handled tool. The leopard slowly made its way back to the jungle and although it was exhausted, the officers believed it would survive.
It is believed that a local cattle breeder has setup the snare to trap a leopard which had killed several of his cattle.
Come, say hello to three pygmy hippos at the zoo
Dehiwala zoo last week celebrated the recent births of three pygmy hippos. To make the occasion a special one the zoo gave visitors an opportunity to choose three names for the new arrivals. The eldest born five months ago was named ‘Hapani’ while the second born in February was named ‘Hiyara’ and the youngest born last month was named ‘Sameena’.
Pygmy Hippopotamus inhabit a small area in West Africa and are categorized as endangered by the IUCN conservation criteria. Hence, many zoos around the world conduct breeding.
While warning not to harass the little ones by throwing food at them each time the pygmy hippos open their mouths, zoo officials have asked visitors to come and say hello to these three new arrivals.
The Dehiwala Zoo has also got down a baby elephant from Pinnawala, that was hit by a train. The little elephant was lucky, but not so its mother and another she elephant and her calf which were killed on the spot.