A full-grown female leopard at Indira Colony in Raigunj tea garden in North Dinajpur district was captured and released in a forest on Monday, Forest department officials said.
Divisional Forest officer (Raigunj) Dwiparna Dutta said the animal was caught late Sunday night in a trap laid at the tea garden.
“The trap was laid sometime back after three persons were injured by leopard attacks in the last month,” Dutta said.
After the news spread that a leopard was caught in the trap Monday morning, a large number of people assembled near it and the animal got scared.
It started jumping inside the cage in fear and injured its head and mouth, according to locals.
Dutta said the animal was later taken to Garumara National Park and released there.
Asked if the leopard was treated before releasing it, the DFO said it would be done if the personnel think it is required. Meanwhile, the captured leopard earlier injured at least 13 people in the area.
“The leopard entered Dilip Roy’s house. Roy is local trader. It killed some cats and a street dog there. Later, it took shelter at a roof top,” said a local resident.
A combat force was deployed by the district administration for the security of local residents.
A team of tranquilliser specialists were brought in the spot. “Santosh Rai, the tranquilliser specialist, came to the spot with his team. District Magistrate Ayesha Rani made a special team for the entire operation,” said a district administrative officer.
When a resident of Indira Colony complained of being bit by a leopard, the locals thought the man was kidding, but when similar stories started pouring in, everyone gathered to catch the animal and safely release it.