A caged leopard. Image credit - Northeast Now

A full-grown male leopard (Panthera pardus) was caged at the Jalan tea estate near Assam Medical College Hospital (AMCH) in upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district on Thursday morning.

This is the third leopard caged at the Jalan tea estate within a month.

The leopard had been creating a reign of terror in the area for the past many days.

“For past several days, the leopard was spotted regularly at the tea garden area. The leopard took away the domestic animals and sometimes killed them. This was the third leopard caged within a month,” said a local.

“We have seen the leopard many days in the tea garden area and the women folk working in the tea garden are now afraid of plucking tea leaves due to the presence of the leopard. Today, the leopard was successfully trapped inside the iron cage,” said Binoti Tanti, a tea worker.

Meanwhile, the caged leopard was taken to the Jokai reserve forest for release.

“After complaining from the tea garden management, we placed an iron cage in the area to trape the animal. On Thursday morning at around 3 am, the leopard was successfully caged. There are at least five leopards in the area and we have caged three of them so far,” said Pranjal Baruah, Dibrugarh forest range officer.

Baruah said, “Due to the shrinking of forest covers, the leopards come from the forest in search of food. Mostly, leopards take refuge in the tea garden areas or on the top of the trees.”

It is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and are declining in large parts of the global range.

A leopard was caged at Haldibari Chetia Gaon in Khowang range in Dibrugarh on Wednesday.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com