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Leopard boards ship, enjoys week’s stay

After failing to ensnare the animal with food, wooded area officials in the end manage to tranquilise the big cat

By Nischal Sanghavi

Taking good thing about the lockdown, a leopard entered a boat anchored at Alang shipbreaking backyard and dodged a workforce of wooded area officials to survive for seven days before it was caught. The shipbreaking backyard in Bhavnagar district is regarded as the biggest graveyard of ships on this planet, where ships from all over the place the sector past expiry are anchored for breaking.

According to Bhavnagar Deputy Conservator of Forest D Sandipkumar, ultimate Saturday morning a employees noticed a leopard on a boat anchored for breaking on Plot No 153. The worker right away reported the incident. A workforce of the wooded area department arrived and laid a trap to catch the leopard. But they failed to catch the leopard. They then laid a number of traps, but the large cat eluded them by hiding within the large ship for every week. It was now not simple for wooded area personnel as in contrast to land, the ship is a closed space with a number of doors, windows, quite a lot of nooks and corners.

Finally, on Friday morning a wooded area department workforce together with a veterinarian entered the ship. They effectively tranquilised the leopard after which transferred it into a cage. As in line with Sandipkumar, there was no food on the ship that the leopard could survive on. Before the leopard entered the ship, it had killed a few canine. "It seems that he took the meat along with him into the ship. He must have survived on this meat for these seven days," the DCF mentioned. The wooded area department had attempted to entice the animal with food, but the leopard did not show any passion in it.

"There might be a possibility that the leopard stepped out of the ship in the darkness, killed some animal and walked back into the ship," Sandipkumar mentioned.

The leopard had entered the ship King Kong 2 owned by businessman Tayyal of Bhavnagar. It was an oil tanker and the breaking of the ship had already begun.

Vikas Panot, assistant engineer, Pollution Control Board, Bhavnagar, believes the low human activity due to lockdown may have emboldened the leopard to stroll into the human-dominated space.

After the leopard entered the ship, human activity had fairly larger at Alang and the leopard should have selected to stay onboard.

"Around 20,000 workers are engaged at the shipbreaking yard near the small town of Alang. Currently around 65 ships are anchored at the yard for breaking. This is not the first time that a wild animal has ventured into the region, but the reduced human activity due to the lockdown might have allowed the leopard to venture so far into the town," mentioned Gaurang Bhatt, a resident of Alang.

The rescued leopard is a huge sized cat round 5 to 7 years old that may have are available from Talaja. The caged leopard is recently kept beneath commentary at Bhavnagar rescue centre. After 2 to three days, it'll be launched within the wild, the DCF mentioned.

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