Community captures leopard

2008-07-07 19:22

White River - A male leopard has been captured in the Makoko community near White River in Mpumalanga.

He was caught on Friday and taken to Skukuza in the Kruger National Park where he is being tested for tuberculosis (TB) to determine whether he can be released back into the wild.

"If he has TB, we cannot release him back into the wild because he will infect other animals," said spokesperson for the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) Jimmy Masombuka on Monday.

If the leopard is TB-free, a Global Positioning System (GPS) collar will be fitted around his neck to track his movements once he is released into a protected area.

The leopard was first seen on Wednesday last week and captured on Friday by a team from the MTPA wildlife services.

"We were informed by the community that a wild animal was eating their dogs at night," he said.

The leopard had the remains of a snare around his neck and had been badly injured while breaking free from it.

Masombuka said the leopard may have been ousted from his territory by a younger rival.

The results of the TB tests will be released later this week.