A young leopard that strayed into Jollygrant airport in Dehradun and a hid itself in a pipeline nearly 60-metres from the runway, was rescued by the forest staff after a 10-hour long operation Tuesday night.
According to the forest officials, it is a female leopard of age less than one year. Tuesday morning, it had jumped the over the boundary walls to enter the airport premises from adjoining forest areas and took shelter inside a concrete made pipeline of cables laid for electricity supply to lights on runway. Security staff alerted the airport authorities who informed the forest department.
According to officials, leopard will be released in to the wild after a test of its vital parameters by experts from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun.
The forest officials had earlier planned to radio-collar the young leopard. “WII experts examined the leopard today and considering its age and body weight, it was decided to not radio-collar it,” said Rajiv Dhiman, Divisional Forest Officer, Dehradun.
The Dehradun airport is surrounded by forests of Thano and Badkot and officials are expecting that leopard had come from any of these forests.
The state government has proposed the expansion of this airport and it is proposed to take over 87 hectares of forest land in Doiwala village in Dehradun district, and another 17.41 hectares of non-forest land for the project.