Written by Staff Writer
19 Apr, 2019 | 8:08 pm
Colombo (News 1st): A labourer working along a road at the Kumana National park was mauled and killed by a leopard yesterday (April 18). Another person who was injured in the attack is currently being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the Ampara Hospital.
Director General of Wild Life said that the zone in which the attack occurred has been cordoned off.
A road in Baagure at the Kumana National park is currently under construction. Four labourers who had come to work in this area last afternoon were attacked by a leopard.
The labourers had attempted to save one of their colleagues who was attacked by the leopard but their attempts were unsuccessful. Officers from the Ampara Wildlife office began a search operation to locate the man taken away by the leopard.
While on the search for the man, they came across the leopard, who then attacked the vehicle they were travelling in. The officials were later able to recover the body of the labourer.
The driver of the vehicle the officials were travelling was admitted to the Ampara General Hospital, and sources said that he is in a critical condition.
The body of the deceased labourer was taken out of the park after 5 hours of the initial attack. The victim who lost his life in the leopard attack was 45-year-old Selladurai Ravichandran, father of four, and a resident of Thirukkovil.
What was the reason for the aggressive behaviour of the leopard?
When News 1st inquired on the matter from wildlife veterinarian Nihal Pushapakumara he noted that the attacks indicate a change in the behaviour of the animal.
Wild Life Director-General Chandana Sooriyabandara said that there is no legal obligation for wildlife officers to be deployed for the protection of labourers working on development projects inside a forest.
He added that renovation of roads are constantly conducted in these areas and that wildlife officers have been assigned to oversee them whenever possible.
The Director-General stressed that it is the prime duty of wildlife officers to ensure the safety of the tourists who enter the park and added that there were many tourists at the park when the incident occurred yesterday.
A private vehicle was used to conduct the search operations as two of the three vehicles at the Ampara Wild Life office had broken down.
The remaining vehicle had been sent to another location on official business. The Director-General said that the leopard is safe and will be closely monitored.
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