Leopard strays into house; rescued

Leopard strays into house; rescued

DIGBOI (ASSAM): An eight-month-old leopard cub strayed into a house here creating panic, but was rescued and released into the nearby Upper Dihing Reserve Forest area, officials said on Thursday.

The young male had ‘strayed’ into the house on Wednesday and was locked inside by the terrified owner and his neighbours, who then informed the authorities, Ashok Kumar of the Wildlife Trust of India said.

“The leopard could have come from the Upper Dihing Reserve Forest which surrounds Digboi. Man-animal conflict is not very common in Digboi; they occur mostly in tea estates,” said Prabhakar Das, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Digboi.

The animal was tranquillised with the help of a pole syringe using a bamboo. “Although, we had a cartridge-propelled rifle we did not use it for fear of causing undue tissue damage. The animal was hiding under a bench. One group distracted it using a flashlight while I injected the tranquillisers from behind,” said another DFO Aniruddha Dey.

“The animal is young; we are not sure how it got separated from its mother. It is not uncommon for grown-up cubs to venture into human habitation looking for easy prey,” he said.

Only a few weeks ago, a tiger got trapped in a well near Tezpur. It was later rescued and released into the Potasali range in the Nameri national park. – PTI



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