When is a leopard like a dolls house?
“On the rare occasions we get to examine live wildlife, there is a limit to what we can find out.
One way to think of it might be to imagine standing outside a building trying to figure out what is going on inside, based on what you can see. There may be clues on the exterior, and you might be able to hazard a guess based on who’s going in and out, but you wouldn’t know for sure.
A post-mortem allows us to open the building up like a dolls house and explore each nook and cranny. No other examination is as thorough or in depth.
This not only provides a wealth of information on the individual being examined, but may also provide clues to problems affecting the wider population, making it a critical tool for conservation.”
These are the words of wildlife vet Jess Bodgener, who officially started her PhD this week, the aim of which is to understand the health of conflict leopards and the extent to which disease or injury affects their behaviour.
Post mortems like this one from earlier in the year will be vitally important as part of Jess’s research going forward.
Lots of hard work to come, but we have no doubt that Jess that will do a great job and make a real difference to leopards and other big cats in years to come. Good luck!
Why not sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with Jess's progress? We'll keep you in touch with all our projects to put veterinary science at the heart of conservation.