Leopard strays into Himachal Pradesh house

January 20th, 2009 - 3:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Jan 20 (IANS) A family in a Himachal Pradesh village was at its wits end when it came face to face with a leopard that strayed into their house late night.The big cat barged into the house of Prem Singh of Saranda village in Mandi district while chasing a dog. The family was asleep at that time.

“We (the family) woke up in the middle of the night Sunday hearing the high pitched shrieks of the dog that was being mauled by the feline. We had to spend more than 12 hours in a room until the leopard was made immobile with tranquiliser darts by the forest department officials,” Singh told IANS on phone Tuesday.

He said fortunately the leopard did not enter the room where the family was holed up.

“After four hours of herculean operation, we (forest staff) were able to administer sedatives to the leopard in the afternoon (Monday),” Divisional Forest Officer Sushil Moudgil said.

He said the four-year-old female wild cat was carted to the Gopalpur zoo in Palampur.

“Since the animal got some bruises on its face while trying to break loose, it was sent to the zoo for observation and treatment. After few days, it will be again released in the wild,” Moudgil said.

The incidents of straying of wild animals, especially leopards, into human habitations are common in Kangra, Una, Hamirpur, Mandi and Bilaspur districts, particularly during winters.

Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests A.K. Gulati attributes the straying of predators into habitations to declining prey-predator ratio and human interference.

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