A male leopard that mauled six people at a school in India before it was captured has escaped its enclosure, officials said. The eight-year-old leopard strayed into a closed school in Bangalore on 8 February, injuring several people before being tranquilised. It was taken to Bannerghatta National Park for medical treatment but on Sunday broke out of its cage.
But officials said there was no cause for public alarm. “There is no need to panic as the cat is still inside the park, its natural habitat,” park director Santosh Kumar told local media. “But we would have liked to have kept it for a few more days as the leopard was undergoing medical treatment,” he told Hindustan Times.
Officials said the leopard escaped when attendants opened the cage to feed it, possibly when the cage door was not properly shut. The escape came one week after the leopard broke into the school in the Kundalahalli area.
A scientist and a forestry employee were among those mauled as it was cornered close to a swimming pool. Wildlife official Ravi Ralph told BBC Hindi’s Imran Qureshi that the leopard possibly strayed into the school from a patch of forest not far from the school. Several leopards were later spotted in the city, causing 142 schools to shut down as a precaution.