Wan­der­ing leop­ard forces pro­duc­tion to cease at Suzuki fac­tory in In­dia

The Province - - DRIVING - — Driv­ing.ca

Car fac­to­ries may see the oc­ca­sional wild­cat strikes but one plant in In­dia suf­fered from a dif­fer­ent kind of fe­line prob­lem when a wan­der­ing leop­ard caused a shut­down for al­most two days.

The Maruti Suzuki fac­tory in Mane­sar, 30 kilo­me­tres south of Delhi, had to halt pro­duc­tion af­ter se­cu­rity guards saw the leop­ard en­ter the premises in the early hours of Thurs­day.

CCTV im­ages showed the an­i­mal prowl­ing around the fa­cil­ity and the build­ing was evac­u­ated.

The 7 a.m. shift was can­celled, leav­ing more than 1,000 ar­riv­ing work­ers locked out as wildlife rangers tried to cor­ner the leop­ard and catch it.

Even­tu­ally, with pro­duc­tion halted for a day and a half, the beast was caught by wildlife de­part­ment rangers us­ing a tran­quil­lizer gun.

“We will ex­am­ine its con­di­tion be­fore re­leas­ing it back into its nat­u­ral habi­tat,” said a spokesman for the di­vi­sional for­est de­part­ment.

The drawn-out op­er­a­tion ap­peared far­ci­cal at times, with wildlife of­fi­cials us­ing fire­crack­ers to try to scare the an­i­mal out of its hid­ing place.

They then placed live goats in cages around the fac­tory to try to en­tice it, draw­ing com­plaints on Twit­ter.

In­ci­dents of leop­ards en­ter­ing ur­ban ar­eas in In­dia have in­creased in re­cent years as their nat­u­ral habi­tats have been de­stroyed.

— GETTY IM­AGES

CCTV footage shows a leop­ard walk­ing in­side a fac­tory in Mane­sar, In­dia, on Oct. 5. It took po­lice and wildlife of­fi­cials more than a day to track it down.

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