Updated March 6th, 2024 at 09:08 IST

Leopard Escapes From Katraj’s Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park Near Pune. Here’s What Happened Next

The big cat, aged seven-and-a-half years, is suspected to have escaped from the quarantine facility in the early hours of Monday by bending a bar of the cage

Reported by: Srinwanti Das
The leopard, born at a zoo in Karnataka’s Hampi, was recently brought to the zoological park in Katraj area of Pune | Image:IANS
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Pune: Chaos prevailed at the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park in Katraj after a male leopard escaped from its quarantine centre. As authorities went into a tizzy to locate the missing big cat, the incident raised serious concerns about the zoo’s security measures.

The incident came to the light on Monday morning when zoo staff noticed the leopard, aged seven-and-a-half years, missing from its cage. The bars of the enclosure appeared to have been forcibly bent, indicating the leopard’s escape.

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According to officials, a multi-team operation involving more than 100 personnel followed, using thermal drone cameras. Finally the leopard was captured after rigorous search operations that lasted 40 hours.

It entered one of the cages set up to trap it at around 9.15 pm on Tuesday, the Pune civic body official said.

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"Officials found the leopard missing from the quarantine centre situated near the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park at around 9 am on Monday, following which an extensive search operation involving over 100 personnel from the zoo, quarantine centre, forest department and fire department. Multiple thermal drone cameras were deployed to trace the wild animal," he said.

"At around 9.15 pm on Tuesday, the spotted animal walked into a trap cage baited with a chicken. The leopard had food on Sunday night. It entered the cage in search of food and was captured. The feline is in good health," the official said.

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During the search operation, the zoo remained closed for the public. 

The leopard, born at a zoo in Karnataka’s Hampi, was recently brought to the zoological park in Katraj area of Pune, he said.

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The Zoological Park is home to 3 female and 1 male leopard, with the latter brought from Hampi, Karnataka, as part of an animal exchange program. The male leopard was initially kept in isolation within the animal orphanage.

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Published March 6th, 2024 at 09:07 IST