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Pune: How leopard behind Hadapsar attack was rescued

Officials said on Wednesday morning that the leopard has been taken to the transit treatment centre of the RESQ Charitable Trust and was alert and awake.

In a late-night coordinated operation involving forest department personnel, animal welfare groups and others, a three-year-old male leopard that attacked a man in Hadapsar was rescued after being tranquilised by a dart on Tuesday. The animal was believed to be hiding in a narrow space between two houses, 200 meters away from where the attack took place.

Officials said on Wednesday morning that the leopard has been taken to the transit treatment centre of the RESQ Charitable Trust and was alert and awake.

The attack was reported at 6 am on Tuesday near Gosavi Vasti, a residential area located at some distance from the campus of vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII).

The injured person, Sambhaji Baban Atole (45), a resident of Gosavi Vasti, is an employee of the Serum Institute of India. Gosavi Vasti is a densely populated area with mostly small houses.

After the incident, a perimeter set up with help from the police and people were asked to stay at home as far as possible. Multiple teams of the forest department personnel and other agencies were formed to patrol the area. Around 9.30 pm, one of the patrol team located the leopard which was hiding in a narrow gap between two houses. Officials said that the animal could have been hiding there since it fled from the attack site.

Teams comprising forest officials, veterinarians and experts from RESQ led the rescue effort. They initially closed all the escape routes of the leopard before tranquilising it around 11.30 pm.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) of Maharashtra, Sunil Limaye said, “Gosavi Vasti is a densely populated area in Hadapsar. If the leopard had gotten out, it would have created panic among the people. The Pune Forest Department and RESQ have great working coordination and thus the operation went smoothly because it was strategized property, teams were fully equipped, took proper measures to secure location and all other stakeholders cooperated – police, public and media. Currently, at the transit treatment centre, the leopard is now alert and awake. He is a healthy young male aged between three to four years and has recovered well from tranquillisation.”

Limaye had told Express earlier that he has directed that camera traps would be installed in the area to understand the movement of the leopard so that subsequent steps can be contemplated.

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