IFAW India: Critically ill leopard treated and released in Assam

This brief update was filed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare's partner the Wildlife Trust of India. Shibani Chaudhury, their General Manager for Communications and Planning penned the post below:

Dinjan (Assam), September 30, 2009: A sub-adult female leopard, found in a critical state on September 9 in Dinjan Military Station, Dibrugarh, Assam, was released in Joypur Reserve Forest last week by the Forest Department, following treatment provided with the assistance of the veterinarians from the Army and IFAW-WTI.

The clouded leopard cubs in the release site. Photo - Sandesh Kadur & WTI The leopard was found in a ditch within the military station. Dr Anurag Kohli, Lieutenant Colonel and Remote Veterinary Corp, began the treatment immediately. The Army personnel informed the Forest Department authorities.

“The leopard had no external injury, but passed blood stained stool and was vomiting. We suspected it to be a case of feline enteritis. It was sedated to administer the medication. Saline infusion was made as it was dehydrated. It was injected with antibiotics and painkillers, and oral supplements was provided laced in meat chunks. It recovered quite well,” said Dr Abhijit Bhawal, veterinarian of the Mobile Veterinary Services – Upper Assam, run by the Forest Department and IFAW-WTI.

The leopard was released at dawn last Sunday in Joypur Reserve Forest under the guidance of Jiten Baruah, Range Officer.

"A discussion was held with the locals before the release. The Forest Department officials assured that the release area will be monitored, just in case the leopard strays out of the forest," added Dr Bhawal.

Since the early 2000s when IFAW-WTI’s rescue programme began in the northeast Indian states particularly in Assam, more than 50 leopards have been attended to by the IFAW-WTI vets assisting the Forest Department. These include 13 cases in Upper Assam, of which five were released after stabilisation and necessary treatment while the remaining were transferred to other facilities for further treatment.

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