‘Hid inside storeroom’: Leopard strays into residential area in Alwar, caught after 7 hours
The leopard was taken to Alwar forest office for medical check-up before being released into forest. “The leopard had a small injury near its eye, which was treated before its release,” said district forest officer Alok Nath GuptaUpdated: Mar 15, 2019 23:51 IST
An eight-year-old leopard was captured seven hours after it had a free run in Rajasthan’s Alwar town on Friday by the forest department officials.
This comes almost 32 years after a big cat entered the official residence of then district collector and now chief election commissioner Sunil Arora in 1987. At that time, a local police officer shot dead the leopard.
But the leopard that entered the town on Friday was captured and later released in the Dugan Jodi forest area behind Alwar Fort.
The leopard was first spotted around 6 am by some residents of the Arya Nagar locality. “When I came out with my husband for a morning walk, we started shouting after seeing it. It went to the terrace of our house and hid inside a storeroom on the third floor,” Rakhi Garg said.
They informed the forest department and a team from its local office as well as from the Sariska Tiger Reserve arrived and started preparing to catch the leopard. The team tried to tranquillise the big cat three times, but failed. Finally, around 1.15 pm, the team managed to tranquillise the animal.
The leopard was taken to Alwar forest office for a medical check-up before it was released into the forest. “The leopard had a small injury near its eye, which was treated before its release,” said district forest officer Alok Nath Gupta.
The leopard was inside Garg’s house for more than five hours, then came out on the road and hid under a vehicle, officials said. The animal was seen leaping from one house to the other and running on the road in a video being circulated on social media groups.
The incident reminded locals of 1987, when a leopard had entered the official residence of Arora after jumping over the roofs of several homes. “A local police officer shot the animal dead with his service revolver when it was spotted at the boundary wall of Arora’s home,” said former Rajasthan police chief Manoj Bhatt, who was then superintendent of police, Alwar.
Bhatt recalled that the leopard was sitting on the branch of a tree which was on the boundary of the collector’s residence and a large crowd had gathered.
“The forest department's rescue team could not tranquillize the leopard. Anything could have happened if the leopard had jumped towards the crowd. A police officer from the Kotwali police station had shot the animal dead using his service revolver,” he said recalling the incident of 1987.
First Published: Mar 15, 2019 19:57 IST