Leopard enters house; miraculously attacks no one
It was an unexpected visit that startled seven members of a family in Appeval-Priol, when a leopard took refuge in their house on Saturday evening.
Family members suspect that the wild cat may have entered the house through the main door and its presence was felt only at about 6:30 pm when a family member went to the room on hearing an odd sound.
“No one knows what time the leopard entered the house. The leopard was quietly sitting at the corner of the room. Our family members were lucky as it did not attack anyone,” informed Anand Naik.
The house is surrounded by an areca-nut plantation and located barely few metres away from a road frequented by motorists. The area has a thick vegetation cover and there were reports of leopard being sighted.
“Villagers had reported sighting of leopard but such an incident has been reported for the first time in our area. The government should act swiftly to safeguard villagers from possible threat due to wild animals,” said local Panch Prashant Priolkar.
When family members realized that a leopard was hiding in the room, the inmates quickly vacated the house, closed the main door and alerted forest officials. But before forest officials could reach the site, Anand Naik, brother-in-law of Ankush Naik (house owner) entered the room with a bamboo stick to chase away the wild animal.
“I thought it would be wise to chase the animal as its presence could jeopardize safety of my family members and neighbours. I entered with a bamboo in hand and a torch to locate the animal, as it was dark. Initially, the leopard tried to resist and later fled away through the back door,” informed Naik.
When contacted, Ponda Range Forest Officer Lourenco Dias said: “We have already decided to lay a trap for wild cat. This is for the first time that the sighting of leopard at Priol has been reported to us and accordingly we will lay a trap.” [H]