Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: Two friends found themselves at their wit’s end when they reportedly came face to face with a leopard that strayed into Mamatanagar of L.B. Nagar on the city outskirts on Wednesday evening.

K. Narsinga Rao, a realtor, along with his friend Srinivas, was going around the open lands in Mamatanagar in his car around 5.45 p.m. when he suddenly ran into the wild cat. “I slammed the brakes on spotting the big cat. It was just 15 metres away on the 15-foot wide mud road we were driving on,” Rao told The Hindu over phone recalling the incident.

Even as he was wondering what to do, the leopard headed towards the car.

“Though I intended to reverse the car, I was so shaken that I ended up driving ahead while the panicky Srinivas screamed his lungs out for help,” Rao said. The leopard charged toward the car and was just 10 metres away when it suddenly turned right and disappeared into the adjacent bushes.

Gripped by fear of the leopard turning up again, Rao changed gear and zoomed off. He alerted a group of boys playing cricket at the close-by open ground about the leopard.

They too vanished from the place within seconds. The realtor said he and his friend saw the leopard clearly for six to eight seconds.

Rao and Srinivas had come to a friend’s house at Mamatanagar. Not finding him at home, they thought of themselves going around the locality to find out if open lands were available for real estate ventures. Alerted by Rao, the L.B. Nagar police and Forest department officials came to the spot and inspected the area.

This is not the first time that leopards had strayed onto the city outskirts. A leopard got ensnared in the crop fields at L.B. Nagar outskirts in 2002, another strayed into a house at Jubilee Hills in 2004 and one more was found dead in the hillock of Jawaharnagar dumping yard, a few months ago.

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