Tragic Loss of Leopard Cubs
Bannerghatta National Park in Bengaluru experienced a heartbreaking incident as seven leopard cubs lost their lives between August 22 and September 5. The cause of their untimely demise was a viral infection caused by the Feline panleukopenia virus.
Contagious Disease from Feline Family
Feline panleukopenia is a contagious disease primarily transmitted by cats, which belong to the same felidae family as leopards. Most of the leopard cubs in the park were originally wild cubs captured from various parts of the state and relocated to the park for rehabilitation.
The affected leopard cubs ranged in age from three to ten months. Surya Sen, Executive Director of Bannerghatta Biological Park, disclosed that the cubs had received initial vaccinations but contracted the infection before they could receive the second dose.
Rare Outbreak in Bannerghatta National Park
Speaking on the situation, AV Surya Sen, Deputy Conservator of Forests and Executive Director of Bannerghatta Biological Park, stated, “The virus, known as feline panleukopenia, typically affects the cat family. Cubs are usually vaccinated against such viruses. This marks the first instance of a feline panleukopenia outbreak in Bannerghatta National Park. All the deceased leopard cubs were between seven and eight months old.”
Bannerghatta National Park had recently introduced a leopard safari tour, with nine leopard cubs residing in the safari area. Unfortunately, three of these cubs succumbed to the infection. Additionally, four leopard cubs in the rehabilitation area also fell victim to the disease. The park is home to a total of 80 leopards, as reported.
Preventative Measures Taken
In response to the outbreak, the park authorities implemented precautionary measures, including sanitization and vaccination, to prevent the further spread of the infection. This tragic incident serves as a reminder of the importance of wildlife conservation and disease management within protected areas.