So, WhatsApp with the missing leopard? A whole bag of gags on social media, for one. While the big cat remains elusive — playing the feline version of the Scarlet Pimpernel with aplomb — one thing that’s not hard to find is wisecracks about its presumed whereabouts. Or the reasons behind its, hopefully temporary, decision to shift base to Indore.
“The IMC and district administration have brought in the leopard from Badwah after the petition on stray dogs filed in the high court. It is currently resting at the Devguradia trenching ground and will enter the city after midnight to prey on dogs,” quipped a wag.
Others maintained that tingling taste buds drew the big cat to Indore. “Speaking strictly on the condition that its whereabouts will not be disclosed, the leopard said it was bored by the insipid fare dished out at the zoo,” declared a post, tongue-firmly-in-cheek.
‘I wanted to taste poha, usal, sev-kachori and other gastronomic delights I’d heard so much about’,” said a post on the leopard’s behalf on the popular mobile messaging app.
Continuing in the same imaginary vein, it went on to add that zoo incharge Dr Uttam Yadav had dismissed the reports. “It’s true that our leopards leave the zoo but they make it a point to return by evening. Strict discipline is maintained with respect to timings.”
Another wag, “quoting” a senior police officer, said the big cat’s location couldn’t be ascertained as the authorities couldn’t lock down the mobile tower location. “It keeps switching off the phone.”
The big cat was first captured on CCTV cameras installed at an IMC officer’s house at Radio Colony in the Residency area on Tuesday evening although the news broke only on Thursday.
Since then there have been reports of several sightings at other places although none have been confirmed. Four teams of forest department officials were formed to scour Radio Colony roads, a nullah near the zoo, Ralamandal sanctuary and Devguradia to search for the leopard. All the teams, however, have so far drawn a blank.