Indore: Leopard Strays In RRCAT, Once Their Home, Scientists Panic

Indore: Leopard Strays In RRCAT, Once Their Home, Scientists Panic

Due to the sensitive area of working, RRCAT has stringent rules on entry of personnel in the campus. However, the leopard, being sneaky by nature, found its way in.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 10:03 AM IST
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Leopard faeces confirm the big cat's presence at RRCAT on Monday |

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): A leopard strayed in the sensitive area of Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), causing panic among scientists on Monday morning. After a few sighted the leopard, RRCAT officials called the forest department seeking help and rescue of the leopard from their campus.

RRCAT is a unit of the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, engaged in R&D in non-nuclear frontline research areas of Lasers, Particle Accelerators & related technologies. Due to the sensitive area of working, RRCAT has stringent rules on entry of personnel in the campus. However, the leopard, being sneaky by nature, found its way in.

Following information about a leopard being sighted, the forest department deployed a rescue team to search for the big cat. While there were no signs in major areas of the campus, by end of the day, pugmarks and faeces confirmed the presence of the leopard.

After confirmation, divisional forest officer (DFO) Mahendra Singh Solanki issued a warning to all scientists and instructed SOP to avoid any human-animal conflict.

Not the first time

‘As per the record history, RRCAT has previous sightings of leopards and there has never been a conflict,’ Solanki said. The area is vast with thick bushes, trees and a friendly eco-system for leopards, he added. ‘It is quite plausible that the leopard roams around, feeds on small animals and never harms humans in the area,’ Solanki said. A leopard doesn’t have a big diet, so it can manage on a few small animals and survive perfectly fine, he added.

‘As per historical records, the area was home to leopards so it is quite natural that leopards’ instincts bring it back here,’ Solanki said. However, it doesn’t translate to any major conflict as leopards are shy by nature, he added.

‘Unless scared, the leopard doesn’t attack humans, so as long as there is no panic situation and all officials at RRCAT follow SOP, the situation can be calmly resolved with rescue of the leopard,’ Solanki said.

Search & cage installation

As the presence of the leopard was confirmed, DFO has constituted a larger rescue team and will be heading it on Tuesday. He will launch a search to cover more areas of the campus and try to narrow down the leopard’s movement. ‘We want to be able to track the leopard's movement, so that we can install a cage for its rescue,’ Solanki said. He added that RRCAT has a huge campus and placement of traps is essential.

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