‘Hid inside storeroom’: Leopard strays into residential area in Alwar, caught after 7 hours

An eight-year-old leopard was captured seven hours after he had a free run in Rajasthan’s Alwar town on Friday by the forest department officials, almost 32 years after a big cat entered the official residence of then district collector and now chief election commissioner Sunil Arora.

In 1987, a local police officer shot dead the leopard, on Friday the animal was released in the Dugan Jodi forest area behind Alwar Fort.

At about 6 am the locals in Arya Nagar locality of the town saw a leopard. “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. They tried thrice to tranqualize the animal but failed. The team could manage to tranquillise the leopard at around 1.15pm.

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 Gupta.

The leopard was inside Garg’s house for more than five hours, then came out on the road and hid in 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 official residence of Arora after jumping over roofs of several homes. “A local police officer shot the animal dead with his service revolver when he 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 a branch of a tree which was on the boundary of collector’s residence and a large crowd had gathered. “Rescue team of forest department could not tranquil

ize the leopard. Anything could have happened if leopard jumped towards the crowd. A police officer from Kotwali police station shot the animal dead by his service revolver,” he said.

First Published:
Mar 15, 2019 19:57 IST

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