Mysore:, April 2, 2013 DHNS
A curious big cat’s trip to school ended up in a zoo in Mysore on Monday. Thanks to an alert security guard, another leopard scare — which has become a routine affair here — was averted.
As soon as the security guard at the Kendriya Vidyalaya in Nazarbad spotted the male leopard near a garden behind the school’s main building around 9:30 pm, he called up P C Raju, the principal, who alerted the police control room. The police subsequently informed forest veterinarian Nagaraj, who led a team of officers to the spot.
Initially, the team decided against tranquillising the big cat. The animal was, however, tranquilised keeping in view the safety of the students, as the school was to open at 8 am on Tuesday. After an hour-long operation, the leopard was sedated and shifted to Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. The veterinarian said the animal was over a year-and-a-half old.
B P Ravi, executive director of the zoo, said the leopard was groggy, but healthy. A chip would be inserted into the animal before releasing it into the forest. Its ear would be punched to keep track of its whereabouts and identify it later.
Big cat menace
In the recent past, several instances of leopards straying into human habitats have been reported here. On March 9, 2011, a leopard was spotted on the Infosys campus. The same year, leopards were spotted around Chamundi Hills, Ilavala, Arabitittu and Hebbal industrial area. Leopards were also seen in the city on November 1 and 10, 2011, in Vijayanagar 3rd and 4th stages respectively.
Leopards were sighted twice in the city in 2012, in March and again on August 27, when a big cat was found impaled on the iron railings of the BEML factory.
The Monday night scare was the second instance of leopards being spotted in Mysore this year. A leopard was rescued on January 17 from a farmhouse in Madashettypura in east Mysore.