India school mauling leopard escapes

Media captionLeopard wreaks havoc in school in India

A male leopard that mauled six people at a school in India before it was captured has escaped its enclosure, officials said.

The eight-year-old leopard strayed into a closed school in Bangalore on 8 February, injuring several people before being tranquilised.

It was taken to Bannerghatta National Park for medical treatment but on Sunday broke out its cage.

But officials said there was no cause for public alarm.

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Kashif Masood

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Images from inside the leopard’s enclosure show a gap underneath the door

“There is no need to panic as the cat is still inside the park, its natural habitat,” park director Santosh Kumar told local media.

“But we would have liked to have kept it for a few more days as the leopard was undergoing medical treatment,” he told Hindustan Times.

Officials said the leopard escaped when attendants opened the cage to feed it, possibly when the cage door was not properly shut.

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Kashif Masood

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The wild animal was being treated at the Bannerghatta National Park

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Kashif Masood

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Park officials have been investigating tracks to see where the leopard might have got to

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Kashif Masood

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Officials have also been checking boundary fences – on the other side is a large forested area

The escape came one week after the leopard broke into the school in the Kundalahalli area.

A scientist and a forestry employee were among those mauled as it was cornered close to a swimming pool.

Wildlife official Ravi Ralph told BBC Hindi’s Imran Qureshi that the leopard possibly strayed into the school from a patch of forest not far from the school.

Several leopards were later spotted in the city, causing 142 schools to shut down as a precaution.

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Kashif Masood

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The leopard was spotted strolling inside the school premises on Sunday last week

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Kashif Masood

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A scientist and a forest employee were among who were mauled by the animal

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Kashif Masood

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Forest officials and local police launched an operation to capture the animal

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Kashif Masood

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The leopard was was eventually tranquillised and moved to the park

A recent wildlife census estimated that India has a leopard population of between 12,000 and 14,000.

Leopards and other big cats have been known to stray into populated areas, and conservationists have warned that such confrontations may increase as humans encroach on animal habitats.



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