In India, leopards (Panthera pardus fusca) inhabit human-dominated landscapes, resulting in encounters that require interventions to prevent harm to people, as well as the leopards. Immobilization is a prerequisite for any such intervention. Such emergency field immobilizations have to be carried out with limited tools, often amidst large uncontrollable crowds. An effective and practicable approach is discussed, based on 55 wild leopard immobilizations undertaken between January 2003 and April 2008. A xylazine hydrochloride (1.4 ± 0.3 mg/kg)–ketamine hydrochloride (5 ± 2 mg/kg) mixture was used for immobilization of leopards, based on estimated body weight. When weight could not be estimated, a standard initial dose of 50 mg of xylazine–150 mg of ketamine was used. Supplemental doses (50–75 mg) of only ketamine were used as required. No life-threatening adverse effects of immobilization were documented for at least 1 mo postimmobilization.
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