A leopard carcass was found near Baradighi tea estate on fringes of Gorumara National Park in Matialli block of Jalpaiguri district on Monday morning.
The animal, foresters said, died of infighting, but after its death, some people seemed to have chopped off a hind leg.
Foresters engaged the department’s sniffer dog Orlando to help trace the culprits.
A forest officer said they suspected poaching initially as on December 27, the carcass of another leopard was recovered from Kurti, a tea estate in Nagrakata block, with one of its legs missing.
In this case, when vets conducted the post-mortem, they confirmed that the leopard had died from infighting.
“We suspect some people chopped off one of the legs and took it away after they spotted the carcass. This is the second such incident in a week,” the officer added.
A 21-year-old accused of stealing a goat and confined to a room at Barobisha market of Alipurduar on Monday afternoon was found hanging some time later, allegedly committing suicide out of humiliation.
Police sources said Chiranjit Ramayan, 21, of Kamandanga village, had been to the market when some people intercepted him and accused him of stealing a goat. They beat him up and took him to a room in the market where he was tied with rope and locked in. As news spread, his family rushed to the spot and asked traders to let him go. The traders refused. The family called up the police but soon got the news that Chiranjit was found hanging inside the room. Police recovered the body and started a probe.
Additional reporting by our Alipurduar correspondent