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Published On: Wed, Feb 20th, 2019

Leopard spotted at Thane shopping mall caught after 6 hrs

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758129o4_panther_640x480_20_February_19THANE : A leopard was spotted at a shopping mall and a hotel in Thane city of Maharashtra on Wednesday morning and later caught by forest officials after over six hours, an official said.
The big cat was initially thought to be a panther but it was later found to be a leopard.The feline was caught from the basement of the hotel located on Pokhran Road around 11.50 am, a senior forest official said.

The carnivore was first seen at Korum Mall located in Samata Nagar around 5.30 am by some persons who alerted police and forest officials, he said.
The police and forest officials rushed to the mall but after searching the premises for around two to three hours, they concluded that the animal must have escaped from there by jumping off its compound wall, the official said.
The leopard was later spotted at a housing complex and then in the basement of the hotel near the mall, he said.The forest officials finally managed to tranquilise the feline in the hotel basement before taking it away, he said, adding that the animal would be released in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park after an examination.

CCTV cameras showed the panther hiding behind a staircase, before running into a dark corridor. Residents and passersby in the area were told not to venture out, an official said. The big cat was first seen in the parking area of Korum Mall by passersby, following which they alerted the police and forest officials, Thane civic body’s regional disaster management cell chief Santosh Kadam said.
The police and forest officials soon reached the mall, located in Thane’s Samata Nagar, and after a hectic search for over two hours, they concluded that the panther must have escaped from the premises by jumping off its compound wall, Mr Kadam said. The panther was later spotted by some people in the basement of a hotel located near the mall, he said, adding that efforts were being made to catch the animal.
More details are awaited.(With Agencies Inputs ).

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