Students at a school in Bangalore would have been under real threat if it were not a Sunday because an eight-year-old leopard strayed into the premises triggering panic.
The leopard entered the Vibgyor High School on Varthur Road in the wee hours and was caught by the CCTV cameras roaming in the corridors.
The leopard attacks a senior forest department officer. Kashif Masood/BBC
Police and forest officials reached the spot and immediately started combing the school and its surroundings for the leopard. The animal was initially thought to have escaped but was spotted again in the afternoon by a resident.
A forest official trying to corner the leopard. Kashif Masood/BBC
Six people, including wildlife expert Sanjay Gubbi and forest department employee Benny Maurius, were mauled by the leopard when they tried to capture it.
Since the school is located in a densely populated residential neighborhood, officials were worried that it might escape and hide in any one of the nearby houses threatening the lives of the residents.
It took more than 12 hours for the officials to finally capture the leopard. That they were able to do so before dark was a relief for the people.
The injured officer being taken away for treatment. Kashif Masood/BBC
The leopard was tranquilised at around 8.15 pm and captured when the sedated animal entered the toilet near the swimming pool.
“It was a long struggle to capture the leopard. Although it was injected with tranquilisers it could be captured only around 20.15 local time when the medication took full effect,” senior police official S Boralingaiah told reporters.
According to government data, there are around 12,000 and 14,000 leopards in the country. Experts have alleged that rampant development near forested areas have threatened the natural habitat of the big cat contributing to the increase in the number of man-animal conflict. It is noteworthy that the school is not far from a patch of forest. The leopard is being looked after at the Bannerghatta Biological Park.