Shot in cold blood

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- A leopard that attacked three persons in a south Delhi neighbourhood was fatally wounded while being captured. Experts state categorically that, but for trigger-happy cops, the big cat would have survived the ordeal.

The leopard was first spotted in a furniture factory, where it hid in the generator room after scaring off the workers and residents. It took a full six hours for the police and wildlife officials to capture the leopard. In the process, police personnel reportedly shot it thrice disregarding instructions issued by wildlife officials. Apart from this, two tranquilliser darts were used to render it immobile.

The leopard died of internal haemorrhage, and injuries to its lungs and thoracic cavity caused by the bullets. That both the police and wildlife officials were stumped initially can be gauged from the fact that cricket nets were used to trap the leopard.

Meanwhile, mystery shrouds the leopard's presence in a residential locality. One theory doing the rounds is that it could have strayed into the area from the forests in neighbouring Haryana. But the possibility of its having escaped from one of the nearby farmhouses has not been ruled out either. There has been talk in the past of big cats being reared as pets in some of these farmhouses.

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