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Leopard with severed paw falls into 15-ft empty water tank in Panchkula, rescued

The incident was reported from Tikri village in Morni block of the district at around 10.15am following which the local police and wildlife teams reached the spot
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Yuvraj Kaushal
UPDATED ON MAY 07, 2020 11:33 PM IST

Panic gripped a village in Morni, Panchkula, after a leopard fell into a 15-foot deep empty ground-level water tank on Thursday morning.

The incident was reported from Tikri village in Morni block of the district at around 10.15am following which the local police and wildlife teams reached the spot.

Villagers were shocked by a series of roars in the morning and after finding the leopard inside the empty water tank, they alerted officials at the Morni police post. As the word spread, many locals arrived to see the leopard and started filming it in their mobiles.

The crowd was dispersed and an operation to rescue the leopard was initiated. Panchkula divisional wildlife officer (DWLO) Shiv Singh said the leopard, around 7-8 years old, was in agony because of a severed right paw and seemed to have escaped from a jaw-trap.

“It will be difficult to find the leopard’s paw and if it was the work of some hunters, then they would have cleared it from the spot after getting to know about the animal,” Singh added. The DWLO said as per case histories, the hunters usually lay down traps to catch wild boars and sambars in the forest areas, during night hours but at times, some other animals got trapped due to darkness.

“We could have traced the source of injury had the wound been fresh; but it was not. It seems that the animal had fallen after trying to get up from the tank’s wall,” he added. The leopard tried to jump up to at least 10 feet in the tank but the severed paw played into its failure to climb it on its own.

The officials assessed the condition of the animal and chalked out a plan for its rescue which lasted till 2pm. Morni police post incharge assistant sub-inspector Maan Singh said tranquiliser was used for incapacitating the animal. The team then used bamboo ladders to get inside the tank and lifted the animal out. The leopard was put in a cage and was sent to a zoo in Pipli, Kurukshetra, where it will be kept under medical observation.

On December 4 last year, a leopard had ventured into a farmhouse owned by a politician and got stuck in the barbed wire on the boundary of the farmhouse. Later, it was rescued.

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