As per the latest update on Sunday evening, the leopard was found in Moolankavu and tranquilized.

Leopard trapped in a farm at Wayanads Sulthan BatheryFB / Arvijayakumar Kumar
news Wildlife Sunday, June 07, 2020 - 18:51

A leopard, which was accidentally stuck in a trap kept for wild boars at a farm in Wayanad, sent the residents of Moolankavu in Sulthan Bathery into a panic for hours, as it escaped into a human settlement. The leopard, which was spotted by the forest officials after about four hours of search, was tranquilized by a medical expert at around 6 pm. Efforts to move the leopard into a cage is underway.

Early on Sunday morning, a leopard was found stuck in a trap meant for wild boars in a private farm in Moolankavu. The animal got stuck in a web made of cables. Though forest officials reached the region upon being alerted by residents, the leopard escaped hours after being stuck in the trap.

The farm where the leopard got stuck is only about 150 metres away from the forest.

Speaking to TNM, AR Vijaya Kumar, a resident of the area, described how the information led the resident to panic. “Though the forest officials came to the spot as informed by the families, they could not proceed further as they were waiting for an expert doctor to tranquilize the animal. The expert doctor was at Nilambur in Malappuram and by the time the doctor came, the leopard escaped from the cable mesh, into the nearby human settlement,” AR Vijaya Kumar said.

Soon after word of the leopard’s escape reached the residents, they panicked. According to locals, messages were soon spread through social media and local news channels, urging everyone to stay indoors.

After about four hours of search, the leopard was finally spotted around Pazhassi road in Moolankavu in the evening. However, the officials had to wait for the medical expert to arrive.

“But then, people had to wait for the medical expert to come back. It is expected that the leopard will be treated for any other injuries and will be set free inside the forest,” said Vijaya Kumar.

The residents also cite that wild animals used to be spotted occasionally in the region. In April last year, a forest watcher in Sulthan Bathery was injured after being attacked by a tiger. The tiger had also killed several cattle before the attack on forest watchers. Meanwhile, last October, a leopard was captured after it wandered into a human settlement near Pulpally in Wayanad.

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