Leopard strays into car plant in India, stops work for 11 hours

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Operations at one of the three factories of India’s largest carmaker came to a halt on Thursday morning when a leopard entered its premises and decided to stay put.

The adult leopard that was first sighted at 3.40am by a guard, prompting an immediate evacuation of Maruti Suzuki’s 600-acre Manesar premises, a Times of India report said.

Operations remained suspended between 4am and 3pm to allow it to be rescued, said the report. The leopard, which made fleeting appearances through the day on CCTV screens, had managed to evade rescuers but did not attack anyone.

According to the report, the leopard managed to dodge the 15-member forest department team that tried to catch and rescue it all day.

“This area is not directly connected to the production facility, so we resumed operations. There was only nominal impact on our production,” said a Maruti official. The leopard is believed to have strayed from neighboring forest areas.

When the alert was sounded, there were around 500 people on the factory premises -350 workers and 150 guards, besides several truck drivers and loaders, who were all immediately evacuated.

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