India,(Maharashtra) Five leopard cubs died after farmer sets fire in field to smoke out snake in Pune district of Maharashtra state in India. The incident was reported to forest department officials on Wednesday following which a team of rangers was dispatched to the spot in Ambegaon taluka.
Officials with the forest department in Pune asserted that the farmer in question suspect a snake in the trash and decided to set that part of his field ablaze. The five leopard cubs were ten days old, said the rangers, adding that farmers usually burn their fields before the harvesting of sugarcane. We have reason to believe that the mother of the cubs could have gone in search of food after leaving them there.However, the incident has sparked terror amongst locals who fear that the cubs’ mother will return in search for them and may turn violent upon not finding them anywhere. Owing to these concerns, range forest officer of Ambegaon Prajot Palve has deployed rangers for night patrolling in order to watch out for the villagers. Locals have also been asked to be watchful of the mother leopard. This is not the first time leopard cubs were found in sugarcane fields in the area. In March of this year, two leopard cubs were rescued by forest department from a sugarcane field in the area. Forest rangers said that decreasing forest cover has prompted more and more leopards to deliver cubs in sugarcane fields and leave the spot once the cubs grow up