A leopard cub aged eight to nine months was found dead inside the Film City in Mumbai on Sunday morning, but the forest department officials ruled out any poaching attempt as all body parts of the animal were intact.
The necropsy report later revealed that respiratory complications and head trauma with bleeding were the primary causes of the death, a forest official said.
“On Sunday morning, the control room of the forest department received a call from the Film City located in suburban Goregaon, informing that a leopard cub was found dead near a film set. The rescue team of the forest department reached the spot and recovered the carcass,” he said.
The body parts of the animal were found intact, and hence the possibility of poaching was ruled out in the initial investigation, he added.
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), which is home to a number of leopards, is located nearby.
“The carcass of the cub was sent to SGNP for necropsy to determine the cause of the death,” said Pawan Sharma, founder of (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) and honorary wildlife warden with the state forest department.
“The necropsy report revealed that the primary cause of the death is respiratory complications and head trauma with bleeding,” he said.
The viscera samples of the animal were collected and sent for analysis, the forest official said, adding that a detailed investigation is being conducted by the forest department.
Leopards are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act and are among the top protected species.
Sharma said that Mumbai is home to more than 45 leopards and many of them are identified with their unique rosette patterns. “They are constantly monitored using camera traps by the forest department, scientists and volunteers. The carcass of the leopard cub will be disposed of as per the guidelines under the Wild Life (Protection) Act,” he added.