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Friday, July 30, 2021

Ahmednagar: Leopard breaks into school canteen, rescued after four-hour-long operation

The leopard was safely shifted to a trap cage and transferred to the Wildlife SOS Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar for medical care and observation.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: July 10, 2021 4:29:53 pm
While all schools across the state remain shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the on-ground maintenance staff at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya were busy with a clean up of the premises on Wednesday, when they spotted the leopard in the school canteen. (Photo: Wildlife SOS)

An adult male leopard recently broke into the canteen of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, located in Takali Dhokeshwar village in Ahmednagar district.

The big cat was successfully rescued in a four-hour-long operation by Wildlife SOS and the Maharashtra Forest department and it is currently under medical care and observation at the Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar.

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While all schools across the state remain shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the maintenance staff at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya were busy with a clean-up of the premises on Wednesday. Shocked to discover the leopard sitting in the school canteen, the staff immediately shut the canteen doors and windows from outside.

The incident was reported to the Forest department and Junnar-based conservation charity -Wildlife SOS. Equipping themselves with safety nets, a trap cage and protective gear to carry out the rescue mission, a five-member team from Wildlife SOS rushed to assist a team of forest officers in the rescue operation.

On arriving at the school, the team first ensured that all entry and exit points were secured, following which they carefully set the rescue plan in motion. In the meantime, the panic-stricken leopard kept scrambling from one corner of the room to the other in an effort to escape.

The rescuer team cut a hole in the entry door of the canteen so they could insert a camera and torchlight to get a clear visual on the exact location of the leopard. Once they confirmed its position, Wildlife SOS veterinary doctor Dr Nikhil Bangar immobilised the leopard using a sedative injection through the hole.

The Wildlife SOS rescue team preparing tranquilising equipment. (Photo: Wildlife SOS)

The leopard was safely shifted to a trap cage and transferred to the Wildlife SOS Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar for medical care and observation. The leopard, estimated, to be a 7 to 8-year-old make, had wounds all over its body.

Dr Bangar, said, “The leopard has scratch marks and wounds on the head, ear, neck, chest and tail regions. The injuries indicate that it must have gotten into a territorial fight with another male and had rushed to find shelter inside the school. We are currently administering topical treatment and dressing the wounds, along with providing antibiotics and anti-anti-inflammatory medication to help alleviate the pain.”

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