Leop­ard keeps P’kula on edge

Po­lice, wildlife dept cap­ture wild cat af­ter eight hours, re­lease it in for­est

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Bhartesh Singh Thakur chdlivedesk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

■ PANCHKULA: High drama pre­vailed in Sec­tor 10 here as po­lice and for­est depart­ment cap­tured a leop­ard alive af­ter an eight-hour or­deal.

Though the first dis­tress call reached the Po­lice Con­trol Room (PCR) at about 8:15am from the own­ers of house num­ber 187, the wild cat had strayed into the res­i­den­tial area on Wed­nes­day night as res­i­dents had heard tap­ping of its feet on the roof.

On po­lice in­ti­ma­tion, a team of for­est and wildlife depart­ment also reached the spot.

The leop­ard was rest­ing in the back­yard of house num­ber 187 when it was shot with a 2-ml dose of tran­quil­liser by Dr ML Singla, in­charge of the vet­eri­nary team. How­ever, it jumped into the neigh­bour­ing house and kept on mov­ing to and fro be­tween house num­ber 187 and 189.

Saroj Gupta, a res­i­dent of house num­ber 188, told HT, “Our pet dog was play­ing in the back­yard when the leop­ard jumped there. The pet, how­ever, took it for just an­other cat. I was about 10 steps away from the leop­ard and called my pet in­side. In the mean­time, the wild cat jumped into the neigh­bour­ing house.”

Soon peo­ple started gath­er­ing in the area along the round­about of Sec­tor 5, 10, 11 and 4, where the houses are sit­u­ated.

Dr Sameer Bharad­waj, who was part of the vet­eri­nary team, said the leop­ard was about 1.5 to 2 years’ old and weighed around 80 kg. “As there was too much com­mo­tion, the first shot of tran­quil­liser did not have an ef­fect,” he said.

SHO, Sec­tor 5 po­lice sta­tion, in­spec­tor Dalip Singh, SHO, Sec­tor 14 Po­lice Sta­tion, in­spec­tor Aman Ku­mar, CIA in­spec­tor Karamvir Singh and SHO, Mansa Devi po­lice sta­tion, subin­spec­tor Aruna reached the spot. Later, ACP (crime) Dheeraj Se­tia also reached there.

The po­lice, armed with sticks,

The leop­ard try­ing to climb a wall in a house in Panchkula on Thurs­day.

8:15am

Own­ers of house no. 187 call up PCR on spot­ting leop­ard

9:30am

Wildlife of­fi­cials reach the spot

10:30am

First tran­quil­liser shot ad­min­is­tered had a hard time in con­trol­ling the grow­ing crowd. Peo­ple, es­pe­cially chil­dren, were wit­ness­ing the ac­tion from the up­per sto­ries of their houses.

Later, the for­est depart­ment learned that the leop­ard had en­tered the garage of house num­ber 188 and called staff from Jumbo Cir­cus, which is on in

2:30pm

Sec­ond tran­quil­liser shot fired

3:45pm

The leop­ard cap­tured in a cage Man­i­ma­jra, for help. Four of the work­ers from the cir­cus came with a net and stretched it out­side the garage to stop leop­ard from flee­ing. A vol­ley­ball net was used to plug a small open­ing. The po­lice re­moved the se­cu­rity gate of the street and put it up in front of the garage.

Af­ter a win­dow of the garage was opened, leop­ard jumped out of it and hit the net. How­ever, fail­ing to pass through net it en­tered the garage through the win­dow. It came out again, but failed to make a pas­sage through net. In the mean­time, two wildlife of­fi­cials armed with sticks and a tran­quil­liser gun ad­min­is­tered a 2-ml tran­quil­liser shot to the leop­ard. It stated mov­ing in cir­cles and jumped back into the garage. Soon, it fell un­con­scious and a net was thrown around it.

The po­lice and wildlife staff put it in the cage, which was cov­ered with tar­pau­lin and drove away in a van. Most of the on­look­ers were dis­ap­pointed as they failed to get a glimpse of leop­ard af­ter wait­ing for seven to eight hours.

“The leop­ard was re­leased in the Morni for­est, to where it prob­a­bly be­longed. The mo­ment the cage was opened, it ran away. It did not suf­fer any in­jury,” said RK Sharma, district for­est of­fi­cer, Panchkula. A leop­ard had strayed into farm­house of deputy chief min­is­ter Chan­der Mo­han on Jan­uary 14, 2005, and got stuck in a barbed wire. It es­caped af­ter day­long drama.

HT PHOTO

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