Agra, Nov 13 (PTI) A leopard, injured while crossing a road near Agra Fort and trapped in a dry canal around it was rescued early Tuesday and is undergoing treatment at a veterinary medical centre run by an NGO here.

The leopard was rescued in a joint operation by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department officials and NGO Wildlife SOS personnel, said Agra Divisional Forest Officer Manish Mittal.

The official said the leopard was first spotted on late Monday night by one of the Army personnel, who occupy a major portion of the Fort and they informed the Forest Department about the wild cat, he said.

The Forest Department subsequently contacted the Wildlife SOS, which has the expertise in capturing such wild animals, he said, adding they rushed a team of dozen-odd men, who tranquillised the injured leopard.

After the animal fell unconscious, they put him in a net and carted it to their medical centre, where it is undergoing treatment.

Deputy Director Dr Ilyaraja of Wildlife SOS' veterinary services said, "The animal was probably hit by some speeding vehicle while crossing the road and has suffered injuries on its limbs. It is undergoing necessary treatment for the same."

"We are yet to carry out a more in-depth examination to determine the extent of the injury. We are likely to x-ray his injured limbs Wednesday to determine the more appropriate line of treatment,” he added.

Wildlife SOS CEO Kartick Satyanarayan attributed the accident to lack of provisions for wildlife corridors or underpasses across roads in and around city to let wild animals cross roads or railway tracks safely.

"Many unsuspecting animals put their lives at risk while navigating the roads or railway tracks and are often run over by speeding vehicles or trains," he added.

The officials said they have no idea as to where the wild cat could have come from.

“The depletion of natural prey base and habitat for leopards due to encroachment and deforestation is forcing them to seek out smaller preys closer to human settlements," said Director Baiju Raj M V of the Wildlife SOS' Conservation Projects.

"This often leads to human-leopard conflicts which have violent and brutal consequences for both the humans and wildlife," he added.

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