An Escaped Leopard Is Eluding Its Would-be Captors in China. Officials Sent Hundreds of Drones to Find It.

Officials in the Chinese city of Hangzhou said they have sent hundreds of drones airborne in search of a leopard that has been on the loose for more than three weeks.

The case of the three runaway leopards has scandalized the nation, after it emerged that the Hangzhou Safari Park did not inform the public about their escape for weeks. Two of the leopards, a male and a female, have been tracked down, while one female Amur leopard remained missing Wednesday.

The local government said Tuesday night it had deployed 1,700 personnel and 990 drones to comb surrounding areas for the big cat. They also set up infrared detectors near water sources.

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Hangzhou residents are advised to stay out of the woods for now. If they encounter the leopard, they should stay calm and refrain from shouting, the Hangzhou Fuyang District government said in a statement on Weibo, a social media platform.

“You can raise both hands up and stand quietly, or slowly back away,” the statement said. “Don’t turn around and run.”

Besides being home to the safari park, Hangzhou is a high-tech hub and the site of e-commerce giant Alibaba’s headquarters.

The Hangzhou Safari Park apologized Saturday. In a statement on Weibo, it said park officials did not notify the public at first because there was little risk of attack from the leopards, which are not yet fully grown, and they feared causing panic.

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Source: MSN