Leopard that strayed into TN school caught after 9 hours of struggle

Later, the leopard was released at Mathakarapa hill station adjacent to Vaniyambadi.
Veterinarians from Hosur and Coimbatore shot a tranquiliser at the leopard early on Saturday and captured it, sources added.
Veterinarians from Hosur and Coimbatore shot a tranquiliser at the leopard early on Saturday and captured it, sources added. (Photo | Express)

THIRUPATHUR: A leopard that strayed into the campus of a private school in Tirupattur on Friday was captured after a nine-hour-long chase by the forest officials early on Saturday.

Forest officials said a team comprising five range forest officers, two veterinarians from Hosur and Coimbatore, and three district forest officers, including those from Dharmapuri, Salem, and the Vellore circle, along with Tirupathur district collector and superintendent of police, managed to capture the four-year-old male leopard.

“We reached the car shed at around 12 am and were closely monitoring the leopard’s movement which had been hiding under the car. We tried to dart the wild cat but it escaped quickly. Only after a while, it walked into the tent, where we captured it. This was one of the important missions that I undertook, “ said Sukumar, a forest veterinary doctor from the rescue team.

There was a huge crowd in the private rental parking shed, which made it challenging for the officials to control the situation. The team was able to capture the leopard at 1 am. Veterinarians from Hosur and Coimbatore shot a tranquiliser at the leopard early on Saturday and captured it, sources added.

“I congratulate everyone involved in the rescue, including police officials,” said Tirupathur Collector K Tharpagaraj.

Forest officials also mentioned that Velakalnatham village, located 20 km away from Tirupattur town, had previously reported a leopard roaming in the human habitat. Officials believe the leopard might have strayed from there to the town via a bypass. Later, the leopard was released at Mathakarapa hill station adjacent to Vaniyambadi.

Additional Chief Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Forests, Supriya Sahu, mentioned on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) that the Tamil Nadu Forest Department successfully translocated a leopard early in the morning.

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