Munnar: Severala labourers at a tea garden here had a narrow escape when a leopard jumped from a tree in broad daylight.
The incident took place at 7.30 am on Friday in field No 3 of the estate belonging to Harrison Malayalam Limited. About 60 plantation workers were on their way to pluck tea leaves when the wild cat scared the daylights out of them.
Not knowing that the leopard was 'relaxing' on top of the tree, 48 workers passed by. Two dogs which were following the workers heard the roar of a leopard and started barking near the tree. By that time five workers including a woman had reached almost 30 meters near the tree.
The leopard was sitting about 30 feet above the tree located on the way side.
On hearing the barks of the dogs, the leopard climbed 10 feet down and jumped to the ground, the workers said.
Instantly, the labourers ran for their lives. Even the dogs ran away with tails between legs!
The leopard crossed the tea plantation and disappeared in the adjoining forest. Five cows were killed by a leopard in this division about two months ago.
Last month the plantation workers had spotted a leopard on a tree. They informed the forest officials. In the search carried out subsequently, the officials found pug marks of the leopard in the area.