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Injured leopard enters school canteen in Maharashtra village, rescued

Parner (Maharashtra), July 9 (MNN) An unwelcome visitor in a government-run village school – which is closed due to coronavirus pandemic – caused quite a commotion among villagers and staff. Thankfully, the unwelcome guest — an adult male leopard – was safely rescued by wildlife and other officials.

NGO Wildlife SOS said that the wild animal broke into the canteen of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Takali Dhokeshwar village in Ahmednagar district on Wednesday through a window.

The maintenance staff who were busy with clean-up operations on the premises were shocked when they discovered the big cat crouching in the school canteen. Showing presence of mind, the panic stricken staff shut the canteen doors and windows from outside to trap the animal.

The Maharashtra Forest Department and Junnar-based conservation charity Wildlife SOS were intimated about the leopard, after which their teams equipped with safety nets, trap cage and protective gear arrived at the spot for the rescue mission.

As the teams mulled a rescue plan, the panic-stricken leopard kept scrambling from one corner of the room to the other in an effort to escape.

However, the animal was sedated by Wildlife SOS veterinary doctor Dr Nikhil Bangar by using a dart gun through a hole in the door.

The leopard was finally shifted to a trap cage and transferred to the Wildlife SOS Leopard Rescue Centre in Junnar for medical care and observation after an operation that went on for four hours.

The leopard, estimated to be a 7 to 8 yearly male, had suffered wounds all over his body which were at risk of becoming septic in the rains.

Dr Bangar said the leopard had scratch marks and wounds on the head, ear, neck, chest and tail regions. “The injuries indicates that he must have gotten into a territorial fight with another male and had found shelter inside the school. We are currently administering topical treatment and dressing wounds along with providing antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to help alleviate the pain.”

Once the animal recuperates, it will be released into the wild.

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