Leopard which injured five people in India escapes

The leopard which injured five people after roaming into a school in Bangalore, India, has escaped from a zoo. Photo / AP
The leopard which injured five people after roaming into a school in Bangalore, India, has escaped from a zoo. Photo / AP

A male leopard which injured five people in southern India earlier this month has escaped from a zoo, sparking a frantic search for the big cat, wildlife officials said Monday.

The 45 kilogram feline squeezed out of the narrow bars of an iron cage at the Bannerghatta zoo in Bangalore city late Sunday (local time), the chief wildlife warden of the state Ravi Ralph said.

READ MORE:
Leopard wanders into south Indian school, injures five before being caught

"About 50 officials divided into six teams have been scouring for the leopard in and around the zoo and trying to trace where it has escaped by following its pug (paw) marks," Ralph told AFP.

He added an inquiry was underway to find out how the leopard managed to escape from captivity.

The zoo does not have CCTV cameras and officials were worried the leopard might have sneaked into an adjacent national park which spread over 202 hectares.

"Even in the cage, the feline was restless and appeared agitated. We are hoping to trap it again soon within the park limits, as it would not have gone too far," Ralph said.

Earlier this month, the leopard hit the headlines after photos in Bangalore showed the animal prowling around a closed school and trying to maul forestry officials, a wildlife activist and others who came too close.

It was caught and caged after being trapped in a room with one tranquiliser shot through a wire-meshed ventilator in an operation that lasted nearly four hours.

Leopards number between 12,000 to 14,000 in India, according to a national survey released last year. They are increasingly venturing into populated areas as their habitats become depleted.

A leopard killed a five-year-old boy in the courtyard of his home in central India in 2014.

Video footage from Mumbai in 2013 showed a leopard creeping into an apartment block foyer and snatching a small dog.

- AFP

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 10 Dec 2016 00:40:38 Processing Time: 208ms