Wandering leopard forces production to cease at Suzuki factory in India
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.
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.