The big cat was seen walking the hallways of Maruti's Manesar plant at 4 am Thursday morning. Photograph: (WION Web Team)
Production at the plant had ground to a halt
The leopard that strayed into Maruti's Manesar plant Thursday morning has finally been found.
It took forest officials some 36 hours to capture the big cat.
Haryana: Leopard that entered Maruti Suzuki's plant in Manesar has been captured by forest officials after more than 30 hours. pic.twitter.com/hQLVmCgqO5— ANI (@ANI) October 6, 2017
The leopard was seen walking the hallways of the plant at around 4 am Thursday morning.
Maruti -- which says it makes a car every 12 seconds -- had to stop production at its Manesar plant when the animal could not be found.
On Thursday, forest officials finally brought out live goats to try and lure the leopard out.
Forest officials had said Thursday that since leopards are nocturnal -- they rest by day, and come out at night to hunt -- they only expected to catch the cat at night.
Haryana: Forest department officials bring goats to lure a leopard hiding inside the Maruti Suzuki's plant in Manesar. pic.twitter.com/y3qgTzzHzw— ANI (@ANI) October 5, 2017
The big cat was found inside the plant's engine department Thursday morning.
The plant premises were sealed off, and police and forest officials launched a search operation.
A police official told ANI that workers arriving for the morning shift were asked to wait outside.
Finally, the morning shift at the plant -- staffed by some 2.000 workers -- was cancelled.
Then, so was the afternoon shift.
A police offical told PTI that a forest department team was called in to find the animal.
The team came armed with nets and tranquiliser guns -- but have not been able to find the animal.
The Times of India reported that the leopard-rescue operation was expected to continue till nighttime.
"It is a very tricky situation. There are thousands of machineries installed on 2 meter-high elevated platforms. I don't think it is possible to rescue the leopard. The leopard generally hides itself during the day. It is expected to come out at night," TOI reported a wildlife inspector carrying out the rescue operation as saying.
TOI reported Vinod Kumar, conservator of forests, Gurgaon circle, as saying "We hope that the leopard is rescued at the earliest. However, it is a little difficult task as the area is very big. At night, the leopard generally comes out. We might need to put live bait traps in the evening/night. As there are cameras on all exits, we should be able to track its exit."