Pradeep Pattanayak

The Baripada city dwellers eventually heaved a sigh of relief after the Forest Department managed to rescue the leopard that was spotted roaming in the city on Friday triggering panic among locals. 

The big cat was first sighted in the morning. Hearing the stray dogs barking unusually, people got up and came out only to see a leopard hiding in the garden of a resident of Bhanjapur Budhikhamari village. On being informed, Baripada DFO A Uma Mahesh, his staff, South Similipal Deputy Director Dr Samrat Gowda and a rescue team reached the spot. 

Then a rescue operation was launched. First, a tranquiliser dart was fired at the wild animal and when it lost its consciousness, it was rescued. It took four hours to rescue the leopard. 

Also Read: Injured leopard rescued in Odisha, undergoing treatment at Nandankanan veterinary hospital

“After a four-hour-long operation, we managed to rescue the leopard. It was a male adult. South STR DFO Dr Samrat Gowda had fired the single dirt. Even after that, it scaled two boundary walls before collapsing on the ground. We rescued it using a net. It has been shifted to a rescue centre in a Rakshak Van,” informed Baripada DFO A Uma Mahesh. 

Later in the day, the big cat was released into the wild. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Susanta Nanda informed about its safe release in a X post. 

It is suspected that the wild animal might have sneaked from the Similipal Sanctuary into the town area in search of food.

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