MVS Bandipur Assists Karnataka Forest Department in Release of Maddur Conflict Leopard


Moolehole Range, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, September 16, 2016: At around 8.00am yesterday, Wildlife Trust of India’s Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) unit at Bandipur Tiger Reserve received a call from Mr Abhilash, Range Forest Officer, Maddur, regarding a leopard that had been caught in a cage trap near Berambadi village. The leopard was believed to be responsible for several livestock kills in and around Maddur and Maddur Colony, and had attacked a man on August 20, following which the Karnataka Forest Department had deployed the cage trap.


The leopard runs off into the jungle having been released from its cage at the Moolehole Range, Bandipur TR

The MVS team arrived at Berambadi at 9.20am and was escorted by a forest department jeep to the release location in the Moolehole Range, near the conjunction of the state borders of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. MVS veterinarian Dr Shantanu Kalambi was briefed about the situation and conducted a cursory examination of the leopard, which was found to have non-significant abrasive injuries on the bridge of its nose and muzzle, most likely from its attempts to escape from the cage. (A more thorough examination was not possible because of poor visibility inside the cage and the fact that the animal could not be sedated prior to release.)


A map showing the locations at which the leopard was trapped and released

Having noted the GPS coordinates, the team retreated to the safety of various vehicles and the cage was opened, allowing the leopard to escape. The release was conducted smoothly and the leopard ran away in a north-easterly direction.

The first of its kind in South India, the MVS unit at Bandipur TR was established in June 2015 by Wildlife Trust of India and the Karnataka Forest Department with support from Aircel Ltd. Thus far it has handled over 70 wildlife emergencies, vaccinated over 60 domestic animals, and assisted the forest department in conducting post-mortem examinations of wild animals that have died in Bandipur.