Sunday 28th March, 2010
A fully grown male leopard escaped from its enclosure at a rescue and rehabilitation centre for wild animals here Sunday, triggering panic among the residents of the adjoining area as it mauled two people before it was recaptured.
This was the second leopard escape from the Tuttikandi rescue centre, located on the outskirts of the city, in less than a month.
'An adult male leopard today (Sunday) escaped from the Tutikandi rehabilitation and rescue centre. After more than three hours of search, we spotted it in densely populated Khalini area, around 4 km from the rescue centre. We managed to tranquilise it with the help of a cartridge-propelled rifle,' centre's in-charge Sandeep Rattan told IANS.
'Initially, two tranquiliser darts were used. As the dose was not sufficient to sedate it, we administered two more doses. In the meantime, it attacked and injured two locals,' said Rattan, who is a veterinary surgeon.
According to him, the leopard may have escaped as its door was left open due to negligence of the caretakers.
'The leopard is back in the enclosure. It has recovered from the effects of the sedatives,' a wildlife official said.
He said the leopard was trapped when it strayed into a house in a village near Shimla four years ago.
Two adult leopards escaped from their enclosure Feb 27 and were recaptured after two-hour search.
Two people, including Rattan, were injured when they were trying to trap them.
The rescue centre houses seven leopards, a leopard cat and 11 black bears.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org