Fact Check: Are Leopards Roaming Streets Of Punjab Amid Lockdown?
The Logical Indian Crew

Fact Check: Are Leopards Roaming Streets Of Punjab Amid Lockdown?

The Logical Indian Fact check team investigates the claim that a Leopard was spotted roaming the streets in Punjab.

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As humans remain indoors to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, wild animals have ventured into the spaces that are normally populated by humans. One such claim includes a video which shows crowd gathering to watch a leopard as it jumped at inhabitants. It was also seen leaping across walls and pushed one man off a ladder as he tried to spread out a net to catch the animal.

Netizens claim that the leopard has left the wild due to the ongoing lockdown in Punjab.

The tweet has garnered over 1400 views.

Our readers sent the video on our WhatsApp fact check number to verify the claim.


Claim:

A leopard was spotted roaming the streets in Punjab.

Fact Check:

The claim is misleading.

The incident occurred on January 31, 2019, almost a year before the novel coronavirus reached India.

A Google reverse image search was done by first breaking the video into individual frames using InVid which led to several news reports saying that a leopard caused panic in Jalandhar as it went on the prowl for several hours attacking inhabitants before it was tranquilised.

The reports on the incident can be accessed here, here, here and here.

According to an Indian Express report, the incident occurred in Jalandhar district's Lamma Pind. An adult leopard strayed into the densely populated village on January 31 from across the district border with Hoshiarpur along the National Highway.

The wild cat attacked six people, 12-member team from the Wildlife Department were involved in the rescue operation, the cornered it outside the toilet of a locked house in the evening, 6 people were injured in the attempt.

It was finally caged post 11 pm after an 11-hour struggle and sent to Chandigarh's Chhatbir Zoo under medical supervision.

During the chase, people had gathered on rooftops, making videos and pelting stones at the animal and causing delay in the operation by several hours.

"Police tried to disburse people but they did not move and hindered the operation," said District Forest Officer (Wildlife) Khushwinder Singh.

Reportedly, the leopard was first spotted by Paramjit Kaur in the courtyard of her house at around noon. The Police were subsequently informed.

When the leopard entered one Jaswinder Singh's house, he tried helping the rescue team in trying to trap it in a net. The animal, however, attacked Jaswinder while escaping from the house. Later, it was spotted roaming in a nearby street amid screams of bystanders, all of whom rushed inside houses for protection.

According to Sukhwinder Kumar, another villager who was attacked and sustained injuries on his hand, t the leopard was moving in the area since last night.

The leopard first went to the open fields in the village, and later entered a house that had its main gate locked. It was at this spot that the team managed to administer a tranquillizer to it for the first time, two injections were administered on the animal, but after few minutes of unconsciousness, the leopard again became active.

"We managed to corner it inside the house. But it could not be immediately caught as it was big and agile," said DFO Khushwinder Singh.

Singh informed that a team of doctors from Chhatbir Zoo, led by Dr M P Singh, reached the spot after 8 pm and administered another injection to the leopard.

Reportedly, the State government of Punjab ordered a complete lockdown with immediate effect to check the spread of the virus on March 22. Therefore, this viral video while true is being shared with a misleading claim.

The incident predates the start of the lockdown in the state.

If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at factcheck@thelogicalindian.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343

Also Read: Fact Check: Are Viral Photos Of Social Distancing Really From Mizoram?

Contributors Suggest Correction
Writer : Aditi Chattopadhyay
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Editor : Bharat Nayak
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Creatives : Nandan M