Stray panther tranquilised after creating panic

Jaipur: It took the Rajasthan forest department almost 20 hours to search and capture a panther that strayed into posh area of Jaipur from Jhalana forest area adjoining the city. 

The panther was first sighted at around 5 pm on Thursday near the densely populated Takhteshahi road area. It was caught on the CCTV of a restaurant and the Sawai Mansingh School. Cameras also captured it entering houses and jumping from terraces. 

The administration deployed a drone to find the big cat but the search was stopped after nightfall. 

Two large schools in the area Sawai Mansingh School and Subodh School declared a holiday as their CCTV cameras sighted the panther on their campus. 

The search was restarted in the morning but was hampered as there had been rains in the night and washed away pugmarks. The area has cemented footpaths that made it difficult to trace its whereabouts. 

By noon, the panther was sighted in a house near the state assembly in the Jyoti Nagar area of the city. It had climbed onto the first floor and was hiding in a room. 

The forest department team was deployed on spot with nets and tranquilizer guns. The area was cordoned off to keep the large crowds away.

The tranquilized leopard was taken away to be released in the forest after due process. 

According to wildlife expert Simrat Sandhu, “The ever expanding cities are an immense pressure on the wildlife and their natural habitats. The most vulnerable are the large animals. The humans are a big threat to them if they stray in habitation area. Rural areas are more dangerous where the animal mostly loses its life.” 

The entire scene that played out showed a hapless forest department and administration. One that waited for day to break as an animal prowled in the capital city.