11/10/2006 16:51 - (SA)
Addis Ababa - Wildlife experts are laying traps to capture a leopard prowling the British embassy compound in Ethiopia, said officials on Wednesday.
The Ethiopian Wildlife Service was called in to snare the wild cat after it had eaten several domestic cats and rabbits on the 27-Hectare forested estate in the capital, Addis Ababa.
"Our intention is to capture the leopard in a humane way at night," said Fekadu Shiferaw, from the wildlife service.
"We do not use tranquillisers, so we will put out rotten meat to capture the leopard," said Fekadu. Once captured the leopard would be released in the wild, he added.
Embassy spokesperson Holly Tett said residents who live on the embassy compound, which has a nine-hole golf course, a swimming pool and horses grazing, had spotted the leopard.
"The grounds are a haven for wildlife," said Tett.
"We have confirmed that the leopard has been seen and we are exploring several methods of catching it."
"We have a range of options to protect the leopard because we feel we have a duty to do so, but we also have a duty to protect our staff," she added.