Leopard that mauled six people in Indian school escapes again

The leopard may have escaped when staff opened a cage to feed it

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The Independent Online

A male leopard that ran amok in an Indian school, mauling six people before it was captured, has escaped its enclosure, officials have said.

The eight-year-old leopard wandered into a school in Bangalore on 7 February, where it was caught on video lunging at forest and police officials as they cornered it near a swimming pool.

It took around 12 hours to capture the animal and tranquilise it.

The big cat was taken to Bannerghatta National Park for medical treatment but escaped from its cage on Sunday, the BBC reports.

Officials said the leopard may have escaped when staff opened the cage to feed it, possibly due to the cage's door not being shut properly.

An inquiry has been launched to find out how the leopard broke out from the cage.

Ravi Ralph, chief wildlife warden in the south of the Indian state of Karnataka, told the BBC: “They say that it could have got through a gap in the railing. There is a lot of incongruity in the statements made by the staff there. So, we have ordered an inquiry.

“We should know the details in the next two or three days.”

Mr Ralph told CNN the animal could be in a national park that surrounds the zoo and a major search is underway.

Officials have said the escape should not cause public alarm. As a precaution however, forest officials are visiting near-by villages calling on residents not to panic.

India’s leopard population is estimated to be between 12,000 and 14,000. Such incidents become more frequent as residential or urban areas expand into animal habitats.