Gandhinagar, Nov 5 (IANS) It was a veritable wild goose chase for the state authorities on Monday when they desperately searched long hours for a stray leopard that had sneaked into the sprawling Gujarat Secretariat complex through one of its gates.
All ministerial and administrative work came to a standstill.
Hundreds of scared employees and bystanders looked on at all the guarded gates when the Secretariat and Forest Department staff scanned through the entire campus looking for the elusive wild cat through the day.
The presence of the beast was first spotted by a security guard on the closed circuit television (CCTV) around 1.50 a.m. when he immediately called up his seniors and informed them about the intruder.
The young leopard — said to be all of four years or a sub-adult — was nabbed much outside and behind the Secretariat Complex.
The CCTV grab shows a young leopard sneaking underneath the Sachivalay Complex’s gate number 7 and entering the campus. The gate number 7 faces the busiest road in the state capital.
“The Forest Department got a call from the Sachivalay around 4a.m. about the leopard’s intrusion. A team of around 30 personnel along with men from Sachivalay security started combing the area,” said K.C. Trivedi, District Forest Officer (DFO), Gandhinagar.
As the news about the stray animal started trickling in, more and more forest personnel were deployed in the search.
The Sachivalay employees waiting with bated breath at the gates were only allowed inside the complex around 12:30pm with no confirmed news about the whereabouts of the wild animal.
“After about four hours of intense efforts, we were able to nab the wild cat, after tranquilizing him. The four-year-old male sub-adult has been sent to the Gujarat Ecological Education and Research foundation (GEER) for health check-up.
The sub-adult appears to be in a healthy shape. The decision about him being sent to a zoo or be released into the wild again will be taken within a day or two,” added Trivedi.
The Capital Project division, which looks after the state secretariat infrastructure, promptly rectified the loophole at gate number 7 and carried out the necessary fabrication work on Monday afternoon.