LUCKNOW: Panic gripped the students and staff of a private school on the outskirts of state capital Lucknow after an adult leopard entered its premises here on Saturday morning. A joint team of forest
and zoo officials tranquilized and captured the animal after a rescue operation of over eight hours.
“A wild leopard has strayed into St Francis Girl School,” said SP Lucknow west adding that the big cat was first sighted on the campus of school of hearing impaired children around 10:15 am in the morning.
Immediately after the morning prayers, as the students went to their respective classrooms, Principal, Geosia Merry of St Francis Girls School spotted a leopard on CCTV showing it moving towards the main stage of the prayer ground. Amid the panic among the students and the teachers, the school authorities closed all the rooms to prevent the big cat from entering the class rooms and the local police station was informed about it.
In the mean time, all the 60 students present in the school were shifted to the hostel building. The police
authorities rushed a team of local cops and PAC and also informed the forest officials.
A joint rescue team of forest and zoo officials reached the school on the afternoon and concerted efforts were on to locate the feline who is suspected to be hiding in the basement under the prayer ground stage.
Tracking the animal on the basis of pugmarks, the team was trying to reach out to the big cat in the dark room in basement under the stage and zoo doctor Dr Utkarsh Shukla was ready with a tranquilizer to tame the animal after capturing it in the cage which was fixed at the entrance of the room in basement. As
per the sources, the animal returned to the darkness of the room after coming out till the cage a number of times.
Finally, Dr Shukla gave the animal a shot of tranquilizer through a gun successfully and after waiting for some time for the animal to slump, it was captured in one of the two cages mounted on either sides of the basement gate.
It took around 7-8 hours to capture the wild animal. Fortunately, at the time of incident, only hostellers were present in the school as it was closed owing to inclement weather. On a regular day, around 130 students remain present in the school.