Coimbatore

Leopard trapped in cage escapes, caught and released into forest in Tamil Nadu

Tense situation prevailed in Talavadi after a three-year-old male leopard, that was trapped in a cage and sedated, escaped while shifting to another cage here on Thursday.

Tense situation prevailed in Talavadi after a three-year-old male leopard, that was trapped in a cage and sedated, escaped while shifting to another cage here on Thursday. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Tense situation prevailed in Talavadi after a three-year-old male leopard, that was trapped in a cage and sedated, escaped while shifting to another cage here on Thursday. After an hour-long operation, the animal was caught and released into a deep forest area at Mangalapatti in Bhavanisagar Forest Range in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) in the evening.

The quarry is located near human habitations and the leopard involved in cattle kills in the last one year has been using the bushes and boulders in the quarry as a hideout. On June 14, a carcass of a cow was found at the quarry causing panic among the people. Pug marks confirmed the presence of the leopard and a cage was placed with bait in the quarry. Based on instructions from the Forest Department, the quarry licensee began work to clear the bushes.

In the early hours of Thursday, personnel found the leopard inside the cage and alerted the senior officials. As the news spread, people gathered in large numbers near the village. But, as a precaution, they were not allowed near the spot.

Devendra Kumar Meena, District Forest Officer, Hasanur Division and Deputy Field Director of STR, S. Sathish, Talavadi Range Officer, and S. Sathasivam, wildlife veterinarian of STR, along with personnel charted out a plan to administer a tranquiliser dart and shift the leopard to another cage in order to transport it safely to Bhavanisagar.

At around 2 p.m., the veterinarian administered the tranquiliser dart and checked the health of the animal. When the animal in sedation was about to be moved to a cage placed in a vehicle, the leopard escaped. The team found it hiding between boulders in the quarry. Bushes near the boulders were cleared and the veterinarian had to dart the leopard again to fully sedate it. The animal was shifted to the cage and released into the forest area in the evening.

The animal had on June 23 got trapped in the cage but broke it open and escaped. The cage was placed a year ago at the quarry when leopard movement was found and the department had recently relocated it in the quarry.


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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 1:45:29 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/leopard-trapped-in-cage-escapes-caught-and-released-into-forest-in-tamil-nadu/article65585642.ece