A leopard entered the house of a tribal man in MP’s Barwani district on Monday morning, creating panic in the area and prompting a rescue operation that lasted for about seven hours.
The leopard attacked a buffalo at Bhurla’s house in Guda village under Warla police station at around 06:30 am.
When Bhurla and his family raised an alarm, the big cat rushed into the house, police and forest department officials said.
As all members of the family were outside, they quickly bolted the door, trapping the leopard. Within hours, 600-800 people from the village and nearby areas gathered outside the house and waited for arrival of officials.
Though police and forest personnel reached the spot by 09:30am, the operation to catch the animal began only after a rescue team from Indore, about 180 km from the village, arrived at 03:30pm, the officials said.
Chief conservator of forest (Khandwa region) RD Mahala told HT, “A rescue team from Indore started the operation at 4 pm. They installed a cage right in front of the door and put a prey inside it… The big cat had already eaten three to four chickens inside.”
The rescue team waited for the crowd to be dispersed before opening the door, Mahala said, adding that the leopard was finally trapped in the cage around 09:30pm.
The official said the leopard would be released in the nearby forests late in the night.
This is not the first time when a big cat has been spotted in the area. On April 6, two panthers were spotted in camera trap set up by the forest department in Dhanora forests of Sendhwa division.
Forest department officials have already warned the villagers against moving alone outside.
Man-animal conflict on rise
May 16: A 16-year-old disabled boy was mauled to death by a leopard in Bhattkund village in Dewas district. The victim was attacked when he was sleeping in an agricultural field outside his home.
May 2: A two-year-old boy was mauled to death by a leopard in Dhar district.
April 10: Two people, including an eight-year-old boy, were seriously injured when they were attacked by a leopard at Pipli village in Dhar district. The incident occurred when Gulab Singh and his son Sunil were sleeping outside their house.
March 21: A youth from Sodliya village in Dhar district was seriously injured by a leopard.
March 19: A 12-year-old girl was killed by a leopard in Sodliya village. The girl was sleeping outside her hut when the leopard pounced on her.