CIAMIS, KOMPAS.com – Villagers in West Java have had enough of this Javanese leopard that had been terrorizing their domestic animals for over two months.
They decided it was time to snare the leopard in Ciamis Regency, West Java.
“[The villagers] trapped the leopard at the foothills of Mount Sawal on Thursday, June 25,” said Asna Maulana Sidiq, the villager who set the trap for the leopard. “We have been seeking the leopard as he has been preying on the villagers’ livestock, among them chickens and goats.”
Asna added that the leopard is especially troublesome due to its indiscriminate appetite.
“The leopard has also preyed on our hunting dogs, which we have been trained to ward off wild boars.”
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"The big cat has preyed on eight dogs. We noticed they have been disappearing on a regular basis along with the livestock.”
Setting the trap
Asna and the other villagers decided to set the trap near the pens where the leopard preyed on the livestock and dogs.
“We set the traps 20 meters away from the pens, and 100 meters away from the nearest house,” he recalled. “We used a dog as bait to lure the leopard into the trap.”
Asna noted though that the leopard never entered the villagers’ houses.
A team from the Ciamis branch of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency [BKSDA] arrived at the scene of the leopard’s capture. The team and Asna then found another twist.
“The leopard has a collar on his neck. It has a microchip and a GPS transmitter,” Asna said. “[The BKSDA] said that the leopard had already been caught a year ago in a physically ill condition. They then released him once he recuperated.”
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Asna and his neighbors urged the BKSDA rangers not to release the leopard in their locale.
The IUCN has listed the Javan leopard on its Red List as a Critically Endangered species since 2008.
Their population is estimated to be about 250 individuals in the wild with a shrinking habitat of 2.200 to 3.300 square meters.
They have been found in national parks throughout Java such as Gunung Halimun National Park, Ujung Kulon National Park and Bromo Tengger National Park.
(Writer: Candra Nugraha/Editor : Abba Gabrillin)
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