Leopard scare at Indian airport ends after 48 hour hunt

Indian officials caught a leopard that had entered the high security area of the a major airport in eastern India after a 48-hour-long operation.
For nearly two days security personnel at Biju Pattnaik International Airport at Bhubaneswar in Orissa state were on high alert, protecting the buildings and the runways at the airport from the deadly predator.

The leopard was first sighted in a nearby colony on February 17 around 11:00 pm. CCTV footage captured the animal climbing down a wall.

An airport security official commented: “It passed through the airport area twice on the night of February 19. But we lost track of it,”

The leopard eluded forest department officials trailing it, entered the high security area of the airport, and disappeared. But it left claw marks on buildings and doors, announcing its presence.

On the evening of February 20, officials placed seven iron cage traps inside a small man-made forest within the airport premises. Chickens and goats were then placed as live bait to lure the animal.

At around 2:30 am on 20 February the leopard entered a cage to eat a chicken and trapped inside.

Veterinary expert Dr. Indramani Nath shot a dart at a left leg of the leopard and tranquillised it. After 20 minutes when the leopard was sedated it was transported to the Nandankanan Zoo.

Subhendu Mallik, an honorary Wildlife Warden, who was in the rescue team said: "The leopard is a male and would be around 4-5 yrs old. It should be released back in a suitable natural habitat as it has no report of making any deliberate attack on humans."