A seven-year-old injured male leopard drowned after getting stuck in a slush-filled pond for 15 hours, Tamil Nadu forest department officials said.
The leopard had been spotted limping around Chinnavandisolai village, some 20 kms from
Udhagamandalam, since 11 June by the people. The feline was caught in a noose meant to trap wild boars at an estate and had injured one of its legs while freeing itself.
The leopard was later found trapped in a pond in a village in the suburbs of Coonoor where it had gone to drink water, following which villagers informed the forest department officials around 5:30 pm yesterday.
Police said the officials placed a cage near the pond and planned to tranquilise it when it came out.
However, forest officials or veterinarians could not be present at the spot as a team had been deputed to the outskirts of Coimbatore to capture a rogue elephant, which had been creating panic among the people for the last one year, police said.
Another team of officials rushed to the spot this morning and found the leopard dead, they said.
Villagers alleged that the negligence of the department in attending the injured leopard on time had led to its death.