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“Stray Incident”: Leopard Enters Tamil Nadu School Campus

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A leopard strayed into a private school campus in Tirupathur on Friday, triggering panic among the locals, a senior forest official said. While a hunt is on for the big cat, the district collector has declared all schools here closed for the next three days.

According to the official, a parent who had come to the school to pick up his child at about 4 pm noticed the leopard on the campus of the school located near the Collectorate. He immediately informed the authorities.

Police and forest department personnel rushed to the spot and ensured that the children returned home safely.

“Initially, it was planned to catch the animal with the help of nets but this idea was dropped after the leopard was noticed under a thicket on the campus,” the official added.

Tirupathur District Collector K Tharpagaraj, accompanied by Superintendent of Police Albert John and forest department staff, rushed to the school to coordinate the operation and to ensure the safety of the people.

Meanwhile, a man was injured in an attack by the leopard, and he has been admitted to hospital for treatment, the forest official said.

Later, at a press conference, the district collector reiterated that all efforts are being made to capture the leopard with the help of forest department officials and staff, who have confirmed the leopard’s movement and are closely monitoring it. “The animal keeps changing its location whenever an attempt is made to capture it,” he told reporters here.

Taking into account the safety of students, the district administration has asked all schools to declare three days’ holiday, he said, adding that no activity of any sort should be undertaken on the school premises during this period.

Asked about the condition of the man attacked by the leopard, the collector said he is being treated at a hospital and there is no threat to his life.

A senior forest official said all arrangements are in place to catch the animal. “It will be tranquilised once the veterinary team arrives from Hosur,” she said. Thereafter the animal will be shifted to a safe location.

“It is a stray incident. There was no specific reason for the leopard to enter the school campus,” the official said in reply to a question.

 A leopard strayed into a private school campus here on Friday, triggering panic among the locals, a senior forest official said. While a hunt is on for the big cat, the district collector has declared all schools here closed for the next three days.    

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