Negev resident rescues pet cat from potential mauling; leopard lightly injured.
By JPOST STAFF, AP
A resident of the Ben Gurion Field School in the Negev caught a leopard on Monday morning after he woke up to find it chasing after his pet cat in his bedroom.
The man, Arthur Du Mosch, pounced on the leopard, holding it in a head lock before it was taken away.
Clad only in underwear and a T-shirt, he lunged at the leopard, grabbed it around the neck, then pinned it down for 20 minutes - until park rangers arrived on the scene.
"This kind of thing doesn't happen every day," he said, plainly. "I don't know why I did it. I wasn't thinking, I just acted."
The leopard was placed in a cage and was then transferred for medical examination and treatment to find out if the wild cat was unwell and why it had come so close to a residential area.
Raviv Shapira, who heads the southern district of the Israel Nature and Parks Protection Authority, said a half-dozen of the leopards had been spotted near Du Mosch's small community in the Negev desert in southern Israel, "but we have never heard of a leopard coming into a private home," he said.
Those who near humans are usually old and weak, and too frail to hunt in the wild, resorting instead to the easier option of chasing down domestic dogs and cats, Shapira added.
Leopards in Israel pose no threat to people and, in fact, this leopard was chasing Du Mosch's cat and not the humans sleeping in the bed, Shapira said. He said the leopard was very weak when captured.
The capture came after several cats had recently gone missing in the neighborhood, which is located near Mizpe Ramon, and after residents had noticed a leopard prowling amongst the houses on several occasions.
The leopard was lightly injured, and Du Mosch, who was lightly scratched, was transferred for medical treatment.
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