Footage shows the crazy moment wild leopard shuts down India's largest car factory

Footage shows the crazy moment wild leopard shuts down India's largest car factory

We've all lived through that moment when we're sat at our desks, listening to the annoying fire alarm blare overhead, thinking quietly to ourselves, "this is definitely a drill."

Sadly, for me at least, modern day cynicism has overtaken my fear of burning alive - and I need to actually see naked flames for me to think twice about getting my lazy behind out of my office chair. While this might sound a little bit ridiculous to the more safety-conscious amongst you, I can assure you that this happens in workplaces all over the world.

One thing that might get me to leap out of my seat and head swiftly for the exits however, is a wild leopard...

A leopard in the wild. Credit: Pexels

Yes, you heard right; on Thursday 5th November, a Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar, India (20 miles south of Delhi) shut down for 36 hours after a wild leopard managed to stray onto the premises. Spotted by security guards at 4am local time, terrified workers were immediately evacuated from the site while a crack team of over 100 forest and police officials cordoned off the entire complex. Quite a lot of people to catch one cat.

Leopards normally only eat small hoofstock such as gazelle, impala, deer and wildebeast - but that did not stop people from panicking. The big cats can run at over 36 miles per hour, leap over 20 feet and jump up to 10 feet - in short, more than a match for any human unlucky enough to miss the evacuation notice.

With the site spanning a whopping 600 acres, finding the animal was no easy task. At first, officials struggled to locate the leopard itself and only found footprints, which prompted them to check the site's CCTV footage.

The disturbing footage (which you can see below) shows the big cat stalking the halls of the facility, probably hoping that a few stragglers had been left manning the assembly line. Prowling between machines and trolleys, the leopard is the epitome of cool as it surveys its new hunting ground - unaware that it is the target in a rapidly growing hunt.

The effort to recapture the beast was not exactly slick. According to reports, wildlife officials first tried using firecrackers to scare the animal out of its hiding place. They then tried putting live goats in cages around the factory to try and lure it out, understandably drawing lots of complaints from animal rights activists on Twitter.

Thankfully for concerned management, the big cat was spotted by security cameras at 1.45pm on Friday. A team were then dispatched to the Engine Plant to tranquillize and subdue it. A senior forest official R Anand said after the leopard's capture: “We will examine the leopard’s condition and then release it back to its natural habitat.”

But where did this fearsome creature come from? And how did it manage to get inside India's largest car plant?

It is currently believed that the unfortunate leopard may have strayed from Aravali Hills, a nearby forest area, but how it got in, nobody knows. If I was a worker at the plant, I'd definitely be thinking twice about returning to work at my desk - I mean, aren't Mondays bad enough without being mauled to death midway through your morning coffee?