The rare black leopard, found wounded in Nallathanniya, has died this morning (29) while being treated at the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawa National Park.
Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Mr. Chandana Sooriyabandara said a post-mortem examination will be conducted on the death of this rare black leopard.
A rare black leopard was found by wildlife officers, caught in a wire trap near a vegetable cultivation, on Tuesday (26).
The wounded leopard was later taken to the veterinary hospital at the Elephant Transit Home for further treatment.
According to wildlife officials, this black leopard was an 8-year-old well-grown male, about 8 feet in length and 4 feet in height.
On Wednesday (27), an employee at the vegetable cultivation was arrested on suspicion of setting up the trap.
The Sri Lankan leopard has been a mystery for many years and sightings throughout recent history have been very rare due to the low population numbers and the solitary nature of the animals. The Sri Lankan black leopard was last seen decades ago when an animal was discovered in a trap in Mawuldeniya, Pitadeniya.
Since then the black leopard was thought to be extinct as conservationists have been unable to find any evidence for them in the wild.
However, in January this year extraordinary new footage had emerged showing the sighting of five panthers roaming freely in forests near Adam’s Peak.