ISLAMABAD: It took the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board and Capital Development Authority more than five hours to apprehend a leopard that may have gotten loose from a safari park and become “stuck” in the Defense Housing Authority (DHA) amongst alarmed inhabitants.
Around 10 p.m., the IWMB had to use a tranquilizer to sedate the animal after trying unsuccessfully to entice it into a cage and confining it in a restricted area with the help of the volunteers and staff members there. The leopard would be placed at a rescue facility in the Rescue Center, which formerly housed the Islamabad Zoo, according to Rina Saeed Khan, the director of the wildlife board. By the time this news went to print, the IWMB chief was in communication with the commissioner.
By 4 o’clock, videos of the cat roaming the housing society began to circulate on social media. These videos showed the scared leopard attempting to exit the area but instead racing into buildings and scaling walls.
The leopard was also witnessed assaulting a volunteer for the IWMB twice. Throughout the entire incident that led to the wild cat’s capture, three people—two of them IWMB employees—were injured. In another video, a man who appeared to be a private security guard fired at the leopard without caring for the wellbeing of the crowd that had gathered there. The relevant authorities, however, disputed this.
Call for help
A leopard bit a security guard on the back, the DHA security reported to the Islamabad Wildlife Management Department around 4:20 p.m. Rescue 1122 had already arrived on the scene when the IWMB crew arrived at the housing development, but Rina Saeed Khan of the IWMB reported that it had not succeeded in cordoning off the area. She reported that despite warnings from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) employees to stay inside, many TikTokers had congregated dangerously near the leopard. According to Ms. Khan, “The leopard attacked because it felt cornered.”
Common leopards cannot be kept as pets, according to Rina Saeed Khan, and legal action will be taken if it can be proven that the animal has an owner.
IWMB employee Rizwan Mehboob initially believed that the leopard appeared to have fled from a nearby farmhouse after being lightly injured by the beast. The leopard did not attack in the manner of a wild cat, which generally goes for the neck of its prey.
As a result of human expansion into their habitat, common leopards have affected life in settlements before.