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An endangered mountain leopard crossing the road and back again. That is exactly what happened to the leopard on Sunday when it jumped the full height of a fence in Sri Lanka’s capital and ran across an avenue. The animal caused traffic to grind to a halt and authorities spent the evening tranquilizing the leopard and transporting it to a zoo for assessment. Conservationists say the leopard was returned to the wild once the vet injected it with a tranquilizer dart. Experts say leopards are critically endangered due to illegal poaching and deforestation.
Lauren Green is an animal rights activist who founded the group, Antipodes Animal Sanctuary.
Lauren’s advice for people who want to help save leopards in Sri Lanka:
“Visit Sri Lanka. Volunteer with wildlife rescue organizations. Learn a little about it. Listen to conservationists, conservation advocates. Learn the local languages and catch the accent and learn the culture. From there, make a connection with that culture and understand there are a lot of animals in that community and make a connection with that local community and understand and reinforce in some way with that the need for conservation that everybody deserves a safe home.”
Lauren also says that people are angry about not being able to find a leopard in the wild, but given how many are poached each year, the few that remain may be around for a while.