Urban leopard puzzles experts

2012-07-28 11:03
Residents in the Groot Marico and Swartruggens area have been warned to be on the lookout for a stray leopard. (AFP, file)

Residents in the Groot Marico and Swartruggens area have been warned to be on the lookout for a stray leopard. (AFP, file)

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Johannesburg - A leopard carcass discovered near the busy Hendrik Potgieter road in Roodepoort has shed new light on how close wildlife can live in South Africa's urban areas, the Saturday Star reported.

"That this is our first confirmed sighting of the leopard is testimony to how well they avoid humans and fly under the radar," Endangered Wildlife Trust programme manager Kelly Marnewick told the paper.

Marnewick said that while the discovery of the leopard took her by surprise its presence still "very plausible". She said she often saw a variety of wildlife including antelope and jackals while mountain-biking in the Witwatersrand Ridge.

The leopard was discovered last week by a passing motorist who took the carcass to a veterinary clinic. The clinic then called the Trust.

A post-mortem by the Johannesburg Zoo found that the leopard was a sub-adult with no signs of bruising or trauma. It had died of pneumonia.

The leopard was "in very good condition" but hadn't eaten in the past few days. Its stomach was empty except or "rotten, maggoty roadkill".

"That's probably why he was on the main road. He was ill and desperate and scavenging what he could," Marnewick said.
Read more on:    johannesburg  |  animals

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