Sonepur, July 5: The forest department has failed to begin any initiative to rescue a leopard even though 24 hours have elapsed since it got trapped in a shop at Bada Bazar here yesterday evening. A team, which arrived here from the Nandankanan zoo in Bhubaneswar to capture the animal, has deferred the rescue operation as a crowd has gathered near the shop.
Forest range officer of Sonepur Sushil Tripathy said at least 10,000 people had gathered on streets near the shop, in which the animal got trapped, and it was impossible for the team to carry out the operation to capture it.
“The team has come with all equipment such as net, cage and tranquilliser to capture the animal. But, we can’t take the risk with so many people around. A little lapse or bad luck during the rescue act may lead to stampede, which may result in death or injury to the people. We will wait until people disperse before taking a decision on the rescue act,” he said. The leopard got trapped in the Chandni Fancy Store at the crowded Bada Bazar last evening.