NEW DELHI – India’s biggest car maker Maruti halted production at one of its plants near the national capital after a leopard was spotted on the premises on Thursday. 

 A senior official said that the leopard was caught on one of the closed-circuit TV cameras installed at the car maker’s factory in Manesar, 50 km from Delhi. 

“The morning shift at the plant has been cancelled to avoid any kind of untoward incident. Hundreds of workers have been sent home,” the official said.

Wildlife officials have launched a major hunt to track down the leopard. 

“A seven-member team is on the job. They are equipped with tranquillisers to calm the leopard down and rescue it,” local wildlife conservator Vinod Kumar told the media. 

Manesar is in the vicinity of the Aravalli mountains and wildlife officials say the leopard could have come from the forests on the foothills of the mountains. 

“We will try to rescue it and release it in the forests,” said another wildlife official. 

Maruti Suzuki, a joint venture between Maruti and Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation, has more than a 50 percent share of India’s booming car market. – Xinhua