By Gopal B. Kateshiya
A leopard strayed into residential area of Junagadh city on Thursday but the big cat was rescued by forest department before it could come in conflict with human beings.
Family members of Ashok Gadhvi, a resident of Housing Colony near Bahauddin College, found a “dog-like animal” hiding under their large cupboard and called up neighbours. However, they immediately informed police soon after realising that the animal was a leopard.
“We got alert at around 11 am that the leopard had been stranded in a flat on the ground floor of the colony. Veterinarians of Sakkar Baugh Zoo tranquilised the big cat and it was taken to the zoo. No human injury is reported,” range forest officer (RFO) of Junagadh Dungar Sought, Parbat Maru said.
Incidentally, Junagadh city is located in the shadow of mount Girnar which is part of Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to a number of leopards and endangered species of Asiatic lions. A leopard had strayed into official residence of the district superintendent of police of Junagahd a month ago.
“The housing colony is quite near to agricultural farms of Junagadh Agricultural University. We believe the male leopard, which is around nine-month old strayed in the residential area with its mother at night. But it could not find its way out as the day broke and hence sought refuse under the cupboard,” Maru further said.
The RFO said that lions and leopards keep of on visiting the agricultural farms regularly.
“As of now, the leopard has been kept in the zoo. We shall try to unite it with its mother. But if that attempt fails, veterinarians will take a call as to whether release it into the wild and when,” Maru added.