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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Quick action by officials of Gurgaon wildlife dept saved the leopard

Gurgaon Wildlife officials said a repeat of the 2016 Mandawar leopard case, in which a mob killed a leopard, was averted as the big cat was tranquillised, timely rescued.

gurgaon Updated: Apr 28, 2017 17:25 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times
The leopard was caught after a five-hour drama at Durga Colony in Sohna, 25km from Gurgaon on Thursday.
The leopard was caught after a five-hour drama at Durga Colony in Sohna, 25km from Gurgaon on Thursday.(Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

After a three-and- a-half-year-old male leopard was beaten to death by a mob as it strayed into the Mandawar village in 2016, the wildlife teams struggled for five hours and took active steps in rescuing a leopard who strayed in Sohna’s Durga Colony on Thursday morning.

Wildlife officials said a Mandawar-like situation might have ensued had the animal not been tranquillised and rescued on time.

After receiving information, wildlife officials and police teams reached the spot equipped with nets and a tranquilliser gun within half an hour.

Undergoing treatment at a hospital for chikungunya, Dr Ashok Khasa, a veterinary surgeon who works with the wildlife department, rushed to the spot after he was informed regarding the same. “I had shot the dart from the rooftop window, while he (the leopard) was moving. Now he is under observation and fine,” he said.

In order to prevent the two-year-old male leopard from attacking any local in panic, officials had locked the main gate of the house in which the big cat had strayed into. The teams immediately tied a net outside the house and cage was stationed outside. More than six officials were on the terrace of the house and kept a close watch on leopard’s movement, who was restless and was continuously moving near the staircase.

The officials climbed the terrace using a ladder and shot the animal twice with a tranquiliser gun but missed the mark. This was infuriating the big cat, which was putting the officials under pressure.

In the third attempt, the tranquilliser gun hit its mark and the leopard was seen lying on the floor within 15 minutes. The officials waited for half an hour and then opened the gate, officials asked the family members to open their door and come out.

Meanwhile, four wildlife personnel went upstairs and caught him in net, got him down and locked him inside the cage.

“The biggest challenge was to keep the leopard and people safe. More than 2,000 people had gathered and had surrounded the house. They were making a lot of noise and this was making the leopard feel uneasy, Wildlife department official said.

MD Sinha, conservator of forest South Haryana said, “These cases of leopards walking in human habitats has increased due to unavailability of water in Aravali. We need to protect these species and we are already filling the water pits in the Aravalis and soon will plan some advance mechanism, to keep the wildlife in forest.”

The leopard had injured a 30-year-old man and a six-year-old girl before walking into the house.

The leopard has been moved to Gurgaon for medical examination. It would be released in the wild if its health condition is satisfactory.

Meanwhile, villagers said they have seen a leopard frequently visiting the area. They claimed some of their animals are also missing and it is due to the wild animal.

In Mandawar on November 24, last year, the villagers took law in their hands and killed the big cat as the government machinery failed to capture the animal despite a hunt that lasted over three hours.

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 17:25 IST