Panic in Shimla as two leopards roam free for 2 hours

Shimla, Feb 27 (IANS) Two adult leopards escaped from their enclosure at a rescue and rehabilitation centre for wild animals here Saturday, triggering panic in the neighbourhood that also houses an orphanage. The leopards were captured after a frantic two-hour search.

‘Two adult female leopards escaped from the rehabilitation and rescue centre at Tutikandi Saturday morning,’ Chief Conservator of Forests Sanjeeva Pandey told IANS.


‘After more than two hours of search, they were traced in the bushes near the rescue centre,’ he said.


‘One of them was easily tranquilised with the help of a cartridge-propelled rifle. The other one, which was 15 years old, attacked the caretakers when they tried to tranquilise her. Two people, including veterinary surgeon Sandeep Rattan, were injured,’ Pandey said.


According to Rattan, someone opened the locks of the enclosure where the leopards lived.


‘There were three leopards in the enclosure. Somebody opened the locks. Two managed to escape, while the third one remained inside the cage,’ he said.


Both the captured leopards are recovering from the effects of the sedatives, he added.


‘Police are investigating the incident. We were worried that the leopards might harm children at the orphanage located near the centre,’ Pandey said.


The Tuttikandi rescue centre, located on the outskirts of the city, houses seven leopards, a leopard cat and 11 black bears.

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