Indore: A young leopard who had strayed into Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore campus was rescued by forest department on Sunday morning. The leopard was first spotted by security guards on Wednesday, said IIT Indore PRO Sunil Kumar.
“We had called upon forest department officials, who set up a trap for the leopard,” Kumar said. This is not the first time leopards have strayed into the campus. The last leopard was rescued from IIT Indore campus in January 2019. A hyena was spotted later in June 2019.
“Leopards straying into the campus is natural as the large open fields of the campus are right next to forest area,” District Forest Officer (DFO) TS Suliya said. He explained that that the leopard had naturally entered the campus looking for water and food.
“The number of preys in the area is likely coming down, which irks leopards to enter human inhabited areas looking for a meal,” Suliya said. He added that IIT Indore campus having a large area with limited human population is bound to attract wildlife.
“Also, due to harsh summers, many animals come out looking for water sources, which they probably find in the campus,” Suliya said. The leopard was taken to Ralamandal. City zoo in-charge Dr Uttam Yadav was called upon for checking the leopard.
“The leopard was found to be 3 to 4 years old and healthy, so we left him in a forest area immediately,” Suliya said. The leopard was left in the area known to have more prey and access to water to keep him from wandering off to campus. “Human-animal conflict is natural and we must understand to handle our surroundings better and protecting our wildlife,” Suliya said.