Banana trader caresses leopard thinking it was his dog; feline captured shifted to Zoo
Mysuru: A banana trader in the city literally escaped from the jaws of death in the wee hours of today when he, in a sleepy state, caressed a leopard thinking that it was his pet dog. Fortunately, he was not attacked by the feline that had entered the shed in search of a dog. The man was sleeping inside the shed. But the leopard later attacked his pet dog and ate away a part of its body.
The incident occurred at around 3 am at ‘Rajanna Baale Mandi’ between Uthanahalli on the outskirts of the city and APMC Yard where Rajanna had set up an air-conditioned unit to artificially ripen bananas and trade them later. Rajanna’s son Ramakrishna and employee Santhosh were sleeping inside the shed.
Ramakrishna had two stray dogs as his pets and the shed had a one-and-a-half feet opening for the dogs to enter and exit the structure. He was closely attached to the dogs and one of them used to sleep just beside his cot.
At around 3 am today, a leopard, aged between eight and ten years, entered the shed through the gap and went near Ramakrishna’s bed. The leopard had got the smell of dogs and dogs are its favourite meal. Ramakrishna was sleeping on the cot that was covered with mosquito curtain.
“I heard some sound and I put out my right hand outside the mosquito net and searched for the dog. In a drowsy state, in freezing cold, I touched the leopard thinking it was my dog. When I neared its face, I felt the sting from its moustache. I suddenly realised it was not my dog. I woke up and was shocked to see a fully grown leopard glaring and snarling at me,” he explained.
Ramakrishna was so shocked that he wetted his pants and ran towards the shed entrance. “I was in complete shock seeing the spotted feline and ran to open the door. I rushed outside and called out Santhosh. Fortunately, the leopard did not attack me,” he said.
Meanwhile, the generator inside the shed started automatically and began emitting sound and smoke. Since it is an air-conditioned banana ripening plant, the generator starts and switches off automatically according to the temperature needs. The leopard remained inside the shed due to the generator sound. The feline, using this opportunity, killed Ramakrishna’s pet dog inside the shed and consumed a part of it.
Meanwhile, Forest Department staff arrived at around 6 am under the leadership of veterinarian Dr. D.N. Nagaraj. As the Uthanahalli Jwalamukhi Tripurasundari Jathra is on, hundreds of people had gathered at the place and Police had a tough time in controlling the crowd.
The Department officials and staff had to look under the shutters of the shed and climb above it to locate the leopard. A tranquilliser dart was fired at the leopard at around 7.10 am and after the feline lost conscious, it was bundled into a net and transported in a cage to Mysuru Zoo’s Chamundi Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at Koorgalli. After preliminary treatment, the leopard is likely to be shifted to Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
Range Forest Officers Devaraju and Govindaraju, Assistant Range Forest Officers Manju, Naveen, Vinod and Vijayakumar were present along with Forest staffer Akram. Mysuru South Sub-Inspector Jayaprakash and team ensured order in the area.
Is it the same leopard that was spotted near Race Course?
Mysuru: Forest Department officials are ascertaining if it is the same leopard that was spotted walking near Race Course a couple of days ago.
A few days back, a leopard was spotted on the road walking calmly, followed by an agitated porcupine. The two animals were spotted near the Golf Club in Lalithadripura Road by onlookers in a car. The video showed the leopard walking on the road and the porcupine spreading its long quills as a deterrent. The video has since gone viral.
The leopard that was captured at Uthanahalli this morning has a striking resemblance with the leopard that was spotted earlier. This leopard has a wound caused by a porcupine quill. One more quill was stuck on its throat area. Forest officials suspect that this is the same leopard and there is a similarity in the spot pattern on the feline’s body.
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