Shadow of sorrow descends with death of Sachin
Darjeeling: A shadow of sorrow has descended on the Bengal Safari Park near Siliguri with the death of Sachin. The 12 year old leopard was a crowd puller and had made headlines when he had escaped from his enclosure and then returning on his own after a few days in 2019.
Park authorities claim that Sachin died of heart attack. Parts of the corpse has been sent to Kolkata to deduct the exact cause of death. "He has been sick for more than a week and had stopped eating. His body temperature had also dropped drastically. He was under treatment at the Leopard night shelter. He was later shifted to the Vet hospital in the Park since Thursday. He was being administered medicine and saline," stated Badal Debnath, Director of the Bengal Safari Park.
Binod Kumar Yadav, Member Secretary, West Bengal Zoo Authority stated that the leopard died of old age. "A leopard lives for around 10 years in the wild. In captivity it could increase by a year or two," claimed Yadav.
Along with another leopard Sourav, Sachin had been brought to the Bengal Safari Park from Khayerbari Tiger and Leopard Rescue Centre in the Alipurduar district in 2017. Now the park is left with four leopards including Sourav, Kajal, Shital and Simba.
Sachin was a crowd puller owing to the great escape story attached to him. On January 1, 2019, Sachin had jumped out of his enclosure forcing the closure of the park. Along with this it had created panic in the neighbouring villages. Drones, elephants and camera traps were pressed into service to trace the elusive leopard.
However, Sachin returned on his own accord a few days after his escape.
A dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the park had been inaugurated by her in 2016. The Park is spread over an area of 290 hectares. At present the park has elephants, Royal Bengal tigers,
leopards, Barking deer, spotted deer, Sambars, Rhino, six Gharials, a pair of Himalayan Black Bear and birds.
It boasts of a herbivore safari, tiger safari, leopard safari, bear safari and elephant safari and a rail less toy train. Bengal Safari Park has emerged as one of the most prominent tourist destinations in North Bengal.