A dog and a leopard walk into a bathroom.
No, it’s not a joke, and it’s not even fiction. This really happened in Karnataka, India, when a leopard chased a stray dog into a family’s home. The dog ran into the bathroom to hide, and the leopard followed. The understandably terrified homeowner then slammed the door shut to keep the leopard away, locking the dog inside with the fearsome predator.
The animals were locked inside the room together for seven hours. The forestry department came and managed to fit a camera under the roof to see what was happening. You wouldn’t be at fault for presuming the poor terrified dog didn’t survive the encounter. Instead, an apparent miracle happened: the leopard escaped in the afternoon, and the dog made it out alive as well.
This photo was taken from outside through a gap in the window. It is a leopard and a dog stuck together since this morning inside the toilet of a house in Kadaba, Dakshina Kannada district. I am told the leopard escaped at 2 pm and the dog is alive! pic.twitter.com/hgjJhaXW03— Prajwal (@prajwalmanipal) February 3, 2021
The camera showed the dog and big cat sitting on opposite sides of the room, neither trying to attack the other even during what must have been a scary and stressful situation for both of them. When there was an attempt made to tranquilize the leopard to safely remove it, though, things didn’t exactly go according to plan.
Sharing a video I received from the spot. After the leopard and dog were spotted inside the toilet in the morning, curious passers-by joined forest department officials to figure out how to catch the leopard and release it to the forest. pic.twitter.com/9dLzlxTUOO— Prajwal (@prajwalmanipal) February 3, 2021
The rescuers then tried to trap the leopard in a net before bringing it to safety, but the cat was able to break through and escape on its own. The dog, named Bollu, made it out of the ordeal safe and sound, if a bit scared.
A video of the survivor! pic.twitter.com/ya9AqvrQRB— Prajwal (@prajwalmanipal) February 3, 2021
So why didn’t the leopard attack the dog after all that time? There are a few possibilities. One suggested by a forest officer in Subramanya is that because leopards are stealth hunters, the idea of the dog being hyperaware of its presence and able to defend himself might have dissuaded the leopard from attacking. It may have also been that the leopard was under stress being trapped in the room and didn’t feel much like hunting or eating, even when the prey was right in front of it.
We’re just glad that both animals made it out of this situation a-ok!