Monday, December 18, 2006

Leopards to be released on outskirts of India's biggest city

MUMBAI, India, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Authorities in India are planning to release 47 captive leopards back into the wild -- just outside the country's largest city.

The Independent reported that the leopards are to be released on the outskirts of Mumbai, formerly Bombay, home to more than 16 million people. The reason for the leopard release, the Independent reported, is that Mumbai has grown to surround a national park where the wild cats once thrived. Once the city began to encroach upon the park, the leopards were known to attack and even kill citizens. In one month, the cats killed 12 people.

Authorities rounded up the leopards in 2004. But the federal environment ministry in New Delhi recently ordered the release of the cats back into the wild.

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