This is the moment a vet snatches a growling young leopard – holding it by the scruff of its neck and its tail – after it hid behind a washing machine in a laundry room.
Dr Clifford Bull had received a call from non-profit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), asking him to help rescue a leopard that was reportedly spotted at 5 am on Monday at a home in Benoni in Ekurhuleni municipality, in Gauteng province, in central South Africa.
Video Credit: CEN/Craig View Veterinary Clinic
Dr Bull told Central European News (CEN): “The leopard obviously moved and a house keeper alerted authorities when the resident domestic dog started acting strangely.”
The leopard (Panthera pardus) then moved to a different property and went into the laundry room.
According to Dr Bull, the leopard was contained in the laundry, which eliminated any risk to the residents, although it did make his task of rescuing it more difficult.
He added: “I was able to dart him using a cocktail of drugs, which is standard practice. Trapping would be an option but not in this case.”
He further explained that despite it being a customary practice for wildlife veterinarians, residential areas and especially a laundry room were unusual environments to attempt shooting it with a tranquiliser dart.
This is because using a tranquiliser can cause the leopard to attack, making it unsafe for the veterinarian and the locals.
In the video, the vet can be seen picking up the sedated big cat from behind a washing machine. He then carries it by the scruff of its the neck and by its tail, while expertly holding his mobile phone between his teeth.
The leopard unhappily snarls as it is laid on the ground.
Dr Bull identified the leopard as a juvenile male between the age of 6 – 8 months.
He remarked: “Contrary to popular belief we do not have wild animals running around our homes in South Africa so this was unusual occupancy albeit a beautiful one.”
It is not known yet were the leopard came from. The young animal, which is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN’s Red List of endangered species, is being cared for at a wildlife rehabilitation centre.
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