A pet leopard escaped from a house in the Pakistan Capital and roamed the streets of a housing society after it was shot with a sedation dart; wildlife officials said on Friday.
According to the local media, the leopard mauled six people. During the six-hour jaunt on Thursday, the leopard hit a man and leaped over a fence before slipping between cars.
“According to our initial investigation, it is a pet animal and not wild at all, but he is scared and is constantly roaring,” said Tariq Bangash, chairperson of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB).
At 4 pm, videos began circulating on social media showing the feline running around the housing society. The panicked leopard tried to flee the scene but ran into houses and scaled walls.
At 4:20 pm, the DHA security called the Islamabad Wildlife Management Department to report that a leopard entered the society and it had bit a security guard on the back.
The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) spent hours capturing a lone male cat. Finally, Gulf News reported that at around 10 pm, the IWMB sedated the animal with a tranquilizer following its confinement in a closed space.
Despite warnings from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) staff to stay indoors, many TikTokers gathered around the leopard.
“The leopard attacked because it felt cornered,” said Ms. Khan.
Volunteers and the security guards on the spot later brought the leopard safely to the IWMB rescue and rehabilitation center.
In the video footage making rounds on social media, the leopard could be seen attacking an IWMB volunteer and another. A female officer of the IWMB also got hurt in the attack.
The creature, aged between two and three years old, is now in the company of a brown bear, a tiger, and several monkeys rescued by wildlife authorities in recent months. The leopard is now awake & roaming inside its enclosure, IWMB shared videos. There were NO fatalities. Everyone is safe and sound!, said Ms.Khan.
Islamabad is bordered by the Margalla Hills, where a preservation zone has been set up to protect wild leopards in the area.
Keeping Exotic Animals As Pets Is Illegal In Pakistan
It is illegal in Pakistan to keep leopards as pets. The government banned the import of exotic animals last year when large numbers were brought in or bred in, causing problems for wildlife officials.
Big cats are seen as symbols of wealth and power in the country.
“We have information that several people in Islamabad and upscale areas of Rawalpindi are keeping wild animals, including leopards, as pets,” Bangash said.
Rina Saeed Khan said strict action would be taken if it was established that it had an owner. Police are now trying to track down the leopard’s owner, and a case was registered against the “unknown” owner under Section 324/289 of the PPC over the incident.
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