Apart from looking for the animal, the team also analysed CCTV footage, but to no avail. “We couldn’t see anything but a team of five forest department officials will stay the night there, along with a net and cage,” said Talib.

Early Saturday morning, the Uttar Pradesh forest department received a call about a leopard spotting in the populated Gaur City II area of Noida Extension.

For the next 10 hours, officials from the department and a tranquilising team looked for the animal, as panic spread across the condos. Till the evening, however, there was no sign of the leopard.

Mohd Talib, a forester with the department, told The Sunday Express, “A call was received from the guard of JKG Palm Court society around 7 am about a leopard he spotted in a basement. We reached the spot with a net, a cage and a tranquilising team and looked everywhere, but didn’t find the animal.”

He said that the guard claimed he saw the leopard in the basement of an under-construction tower.

Manoj Pathak, SHO Bisrakh, said that a police team too reached the spot early morning and stayed till 11 am, but after no animal was found, the team left. What was found, however, was a mysterious paw mark on wet soil. “It could have been a fishing cat — smaller than a dog, bigger than a cat — and could have been mistaken for a leopard. It feeds on fish and might have strayed here by mistake,” said Talib.

Apart from looking for the animal, the team also analysed CCTV footage, but to no avail. “We couldn’t see anything but a team of five forest department officials will stay the night there, along with a net and cage,” said Talib.

Even though no animal was spotted till late Saturday night, residents nearby were told to “maintain caution, keep the children indoors, keep doors and windows locked, and to inform the forest department or police if any animal is spotted”.

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