Sunday, July 15, 2007

India: Leopard preys on antelope kept in zoo, caught

Sibte Husain Bukhari

Junagadh, July 14: Sakkarbaug Zoo officials on Saturday morning trapped a leopard that had entered the zoo from the adjoining Girnar forest recently, and preyed on a four-horned antelope.

According to zoo Superintendent RD Katara, he found the antelope missing from its cage during a routine visit on Friday. "We found pugmarks and scratches near a tree next to the antelope cage. The pugmarks led to the forest. Four antelopes were being bred in the enclosure," he said.

Anticipating that the leopard would come to the zoo again, officials set up a trap on Saturday morning using a goat for bait.

An official said, "The male leopard, while trying to prey on the goat, was trapped. It was injured while trying to make its way through the coil-wired fencing and has been treated. The leopard will soon be released into the forest, at a considerable distance from the zoo."

"In view of the episode, after dark, animals at the zoo would be locked at their cells, which are already in place inside the enclosures," he added.

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