NASHIK: After the lions at the Hyderabad zoo were diagnosed with Corona infection, special care is being taken for 32 leopards at the Manikdoh Leopard Shelter in Pune, now the largest leopard sanctuary in the state. Leopards are being monitored three times a day and if necessary, Corona testing of leopards will also be done.
The Wildlife Authority of India has directed all zoos and shelters across the country to take special care. The Manikdoh Leopard Shelter in Ambegaon taluka of Pune district currently has 32 leopards. They are being given special care. Measures have been taken to prevent leopards from contracting the disease. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Wildlife SOS to provide technical assistance to the Manikdoh Shelter.
Eight employees of the organization as well as four employees of the forest department have been vaccinated against Corona. Separate arrangements have been made for the disposal of leopard droppings and leftover food. Leopard cages are being disinfected daily. The number of leopards has increased everywhere and due to deforestation, leopards have settled in sugarcane fields.
For the last 15 years, the incidence of leopard encounters in rural areas has been increasing. Since then the conflict between humans and leopards has escalated. The first shelter in the state was set up in 2002 to rescue and rehabilitate leopards. The forest department has launched a special campaign to rescue leopards and create awareness.
Forest department personnel were trained to rescue leopards. At present, the center has 32 bibs. The center has the capacity to house a total of 40 leopards. Leopards caught in Nashik, Sangamner, Mumbai and Nagar areas have been kept in this center.
Leopards are being examined three times by a medical expert with a thermometer. The veterinary officer of the center, Leopards are regularly inspected by Dr Nikhil Bangar throughout the day. Outsiders are not allowed in the center. If a leopard shows signs of infection, it will be isolated immediately. Separate cages have been set up for segregation. If necessary, leopards will also be tested for corona. Meat fed to leopards is kept in boiling water. They are then given the meat to eat.