/ 4 July 2008

Leopard caught after terrifying community

A male leopard was captured in Makoko near Nelspruit on Friday, the Mpumalanga tourism and parks agency said.

Spokesperson Jimmy Masombuka said the agency received information from a community that had been terrorised by the animal. The leopard had killed nine dogs at different houses in the area.

A team from the agency set up a cage for the animal and found it trapped on Friday morning. The animal had the remains of a snare around its neck, which had caused it serious injury.

Masombuka said it was believed the community might have tried to capture the leopard using a snare but that the animal had proven too powerful for it.

The leopard was darted and taken to a veterinary surgeon in Skukuza for treatment and tuberculosis tests.

If the leopard is found to have TB, it will be euthanised; else it will be released in one of the agency’s protected areas, said Masombuka. — Sapa