In a rare operation, officials of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) on Friday freed a male panther, said to be under two, from a snare and released it into the forest.

On Thursday night, the panther got trapped into the snare made of two-wheeler brake/clutch cables near the Kurangumudi Estate in the Sholayar dam area.

In its attempt to escape, the panther dug a pit with its paws. It was found hanging with one leg enmeshed. The snare was tied to a strong immovable object.

On receiving information, ATR field director H. Basuvaraju and deputy director A. Thiagarajan deputed a team, led by range officers A. Chinnasamy and S.A. Xavier, to the area on Friday morning.

Forest veterinarian N.S. Manoharan tranquillised the animal and the snare cables were severed. The team treated the panther for a leg injury it suffered in its bid to free itself.

On Friday afternoon, the panther was released into the wilderness. By evening, it was seen slowly moving towards its habitat in the jungle.

The animal's condition and movements were being monitored, officials said.

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