In a rarest of rare cases, a strong stray dog seems to have gotten the better of a young Leopard in Karnataka’s hinterlands – but the canine’s victory was pyrrhic.
Forest officials from Karnataka’s Mandya district have reported that a stray dog apparently killed a young leopard in a fight and later succumbed to its injuries.
“Prima facie it appears that both the animals fought hard before their deaths but the exact cause of the leopard’s death is yet to be ascertained,” said Deputy Conservator of Forests (Mandya) Ravishankar.
He added that both the animal carcasses have been sent for autopsy.
“Though the leopard appeared to be only 6 months old and the dog was robustly built, still I would bet on the former’s victory. But, you never know, (how) in a jungle circumstances and luck can determine the outcome,” Ravishankar explained.
According to another forest official, with the livestock being closely guarded by men, the leopards are going after dogs.
“They also relish canines and it’s easy for the leopards to hunt down dogs. Generally, villages with a good population of dogs attract leopards. They attack and catch dogs by the throat leaving no chance for them to bark and raise an alarm. But in this case, it is clear that both the prey and the predator have fought hard. At least such signs are visible,” an official said.
Meanwhile, local resident Thimme revealed that the stray dog, regularly fed by the villagers, had grown into a strong adult dog, which villagers used to fondly call ‘kariya’ (blackie).
“It was a well-built dog, whereas the leopard that died was small but still a strong one. This confrontation may have taken place in the wee hours of the morning as that is the time when animals like leopards come out to hunt their prey,” he said.
He stated that the villagers had shut their doors while sleeping, due to the cold outside, though some of them may have heard but ignored the sound of the barking dog.
“We only came to know about the incident in the morning when some villagers on their way to the fields noticed both the carcasses,” Gowda added.
The autopsy is likely to shed more light on the nature of the confrontation between the robust canine and the big feline, and whether there was some other factor that led to the death of either.