In a night-long drama, a leopard kept residents of Krishna Vihar Kuti near Delhi-Ghaziabad border on the tenterhooks after it ventured in the locality at 8.30pm and attacked a biker and a minor boy before entering a house while chasing another girl. The girl’s family, however, locked the leopard inside the house and did not allow the agitated locals to injure it.
The leopard could be tranquillised only around 6am by the forest department officials after a five-hour long ordeal. They transported it in a cage to a forest reserve in Saharanpur, about 180 kilometres away from Ghaziabad.
The male Leopard which injured a 27-year-old man Bittu, a minor boy named Akash and a cow, weighed nearly 70kg and ventured into the house of Satyapal Prajapati at around 8.30pm on Thursday night. Prajapati’s daughter Preeti was the first who clearly spotted the leopard and ran into her house with the big cat chasing her.
Since Preeti was at a safe location on the first floor balcony, Prajapati’s son, Ankit, 23, bolted the main door and dialled police emergency number. The police and a team from Ghaziabad forest department arrived by 10pm. The team from zonal forest department at Meerut was also called with tranquilliser darts. Hundreds of locals arrived at Prajapati’s house where they stayed till the animal was captured around 6am.
“It took us more than five hours to identify the animal as it did not move inside the house. Later, Prajapati took out a hammer and broke the wall through which we peeped and spotted the Leopard. It was tranquillised from the same opening thrice,” said BP Singh, forest officer, Ghaziabad.
Once spotted, the main entrance of Prajapati’s house was also covered with a big net to prevent the animal from escaping. Prajapati and his family played a key role and did not allow agitated locals to barge inside their house and inflict any injuries to the animal. The forest department also tried to lure the animal with goat as bait but their idea was opposed by animal activists.
It was around 6am when the Leopard finally went unconscious after being tranquilised thrice. It was pulled out in a net from Prajapati’s house and put inside a cage.
Officials said that the animal was shifted swiftly to Saharanpur forest reserve where it would be released.
“We suspect that the animal may have ventured into the area from nearby river Hindon which is conducive for their movement. Leopard is known to travel 50-100km in fields during night and many have ventured here. There have been previous sightings of the animal in Ghaziabad earlier,” Singh added.