Large wild leopard causes panic after wandering into family home

Local residents barricaded the big cat in a basement as they waited for help to arrive 

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Monday 02 May 2016 14:38 BST
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Rescuers gather with tranquilizer guns outside of the house ready to rescue the leopard
Rescuers gather with tranquilizer guns outside of the house ready to rescue the leopard (WildlifeSOS)

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A family in Agra were given a shock last week when a large wild leopard wandered into their local neighbourhood and ran into their house.

Residents in Suresh Nagar, New Agra, were able to lock the animal in the basement and call for help, though by the time professionals arrived four hours later a crowd of 4,000 people had reportedly gathered in the area.

Wildlife SOS, an organisation that rescues wild animals in distress, was sent by the Indian police to handle the issue. On arrival, the charity instructed the forest department to put up safety nets along the periphery of the house, while the local police dispersed the thousands of people gathered in the area.

Vets from Wildlife SOS then drilled a hole through the wall to the basement where the four-year-old male leopard was holed up and shot it with a tranquilizer gun, in order to be able to safely remove the animal from the house and transfer it to the charity’s rescue centre.

“Rescue operations can be dangerous and need careful planning in order to ensure the safety of the animal as well as the people” said, Dr. Illayaraja.

A vet looks through a hole drilled in the wall to see the trapped leopard
A vet looks through a hole drilled in the wall to see the trapped leopard (WildlifeSOS)
The wild leopard that was rescued from the basement of a family home
The wild leopard that was rescued from the basement of a family home (WildlifeSOS)

Leopards usually avoid human contact, a spokesperson from Wildlife SOS said, but the depletion of their territory and prey base has forced the animals to seek food outside of their usual hunting areas, leading them to visit small villages where they hunt poultry and dogs.

The charity reported this leopard had been yelled at by residents and pelted with stones when it wandered into the area and had darted into the house to escape.

The leopard in the Agra neighbourhood received minor injuries on its forehead during the rescue operation, which were treated by the charity’s vets, and has since been released back in to the wild.

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