Panic continued in villages along the India-Pakistan border in Tarn Taran as the leopard that attacked two men on Thursday in the fields of Marhi Gorh Singh village remained still on the loose till Friday night.
Forest range officer Lakhwinder Kumar said the animal “may have come from Pakistan side”.
“Leopards can jump up to 12 feet high. Jumping over the barbed fence on the border is not difficult for the animal,” he said.
An attack by it in the village, 27km from the district headquarters, around 3 pm on Thursday was followed by a thorough search by different teams of the wildlife department. As the fog intensified, the search was suspended due to low visibility. On loudspeakers of gurdwaras, the administration asked residents to remain alert.
On Friday, the fog on the morning delayed a restart of search. A special team of experts from the Chhatbir zoo near Chandigarh was also called. A tranquiliser gun and cage remained ready, but the big cat, which was earlier believed to be a panther, remained elusive.
Senior officials, including divisional forest officer (DFO), Amritsar, Atal Mahajan, and range officers Balbir Singh Dhillon (Harike) and Lakhwinder Kumar (Patti), were leading the operations.
After going through possible hideouts, the search operation was suspended again. Teams camped at the Harike wetland and asked villagers to aleart immediately if they spot the leopard again.