Severely injured, leopard recovers at Delhi Zoo

A five-year-old female leopard is undergoing treatment at the Delhi Zoo for the wounds she sustained when she tried to leap over a 15-foot boundary wall of a farmhouse in Chhattarpur, South Delhi, on Tuesday.

The leopard could not make it over the wall and her limbs were impaled by the iron spikes put on the wall as a security measure.

A security guard had spotted the leopard, which officials suspect strayed from the forests of the Aravalli Hills, and informed the authorities. It took the Wildlife and NGO officials seven hours of work through the rain to rescue the feline.

A veterinary doctor at the zoo said on Wednesday that they had given the animal oral and topical treatment for the wounds. Some of the cuts, they said, go all the way till the bone and they will be checking on those too. An official said the leopard will take at least a couple of days to recover from the shock and then they will check on her overall health. This will determine whether the animal can be returned to the wild.

Two of the leopard's legs have severe injuries and it is not clear yet if she will be able to walk. Doctors did not find any internal injuries, leaving them optimistic about her survival.

Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of NGO Wildlife SOS that helped rescue the leopard, said the animal might have strayed from the Aravalli Hills. She said at least 30 leopards are sighted in the Aravalli forests every year.

"This leopard in Delhi clearly indicates that there is a serious man-animal conflict in this region," said said.

The zoo staff are working to comfort the sedated animal by keeping the lights low, but so far she has been in a "very bad mood".

Joint Director of the Delhi Zoo T C Nautiyal said: "She growls and tries to get up when someone goes close."

Around three years ago, Wildlife SOS had tried to capture another leopard, who was sighted in North Delhi. But the big cat was not found. In 2008, a leopard was caught in the Gurgaon after killing several animals in the area.

Shy and Elusive

Leopards are elusive, solitary and largely nocturnal

They are very agile and can run at over 58 kmph, leap over 20 feet horizontally and jump up to 10 feet vertically ó the wall that the Delhi leopard tried to leap over was at least 15-foot high

They are also very versatile and opportunistic hunters

They have a broad diet that includes rodents, reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds

Leopards are known for their ability in climbing and are powerful swimmers

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