Villagers said that the stretch is prone to accidents for wildlife. They added that the head of the big cat got smashed in the accident and they informed the forest department about the incident immediately.
Officials of the wildlife department said they received information around 6am and took the carcasses into their custody immediately and registered a case.
“The autopsy revealed that the leopard died of brain injury. The carcass was cremated following norms of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972,” district wildlife officer R Dangi said, adding that earlier they had sent a proposal to build a wildlife corridor and underpasses in the area.
Villagers said that they also have been demanding for a wildlife corridor for long but nothing has happened yet. “This Pali highway passes through the middle of the Aravalis and bisects the corridor used by the wildlife to traverse from Asola Wildlife sanctuary in Delhi, passing through Gurugram(Mangar- Bandhwari), to Sariska in Rajasthan. We have been demanding an underpass in the area for long but it is still pending,” said Mukesh Yadav, a villager.
In just 11 months, a similar incident has been reported in the area. On October 20, 2019, a one-and-half-year old female leopard was crushed to death on the same road in Pali area.
The Wildlife Institute India (WII) report, dated 2017, pointed out that the belt is a rich leopard habitat and abundance of wildlife is thriving in this region.
Environment experts added that the wildlife department is yet to work on the proposed underpasses and speed barriers on the highway. “While wildlife signage is not installed, the department’s plan on wildlife conservation/mitigation for infra projects are also pending. Why isn’t this area being declared a wildlife corridor?” asked Vivek Kamboj, a member of NGO Haryali.
Another green activist added that the wildlife department’s inefficiency is reflecting in the numerous animal deaths on the highways. “Where are the much-needed underpasses? Nothing has come out of it, except for a couple of letters written to the PWD and NHAI,” said environment activist Vaishali Rana Chandra.