The automotive industry has been facing frequent production stoppages for more than years now. First, it was the rapid spread of Covid-19 infections in 2020 that practically made the entire planet grid to a halt, which was followed by severe supply chain issues and a global chip shortage that continues to plague the automobile manufacturing industry. To make things worse, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had crippling effects forcing manufacturers like Porsche to temporarily shut down their plants. However, a Mercedes-Benz factory in Chakan, India recently had to push the pause button for a very different reason. A wild leopard somehow made its way into the factory in the early hours of the morning and wandered around for several hours.
The surprise visitor caused alarm inside the factory and the employees were quickly asked to quickly vacate the factory, bringing the assembly lines to a stop. Understandably, the leopard was also scared and struggled to find a way out. But it’s commendable how the concerned authorities handled the situation. The Chakan Forest Department and Wildlife SOS were reached out to rescue the leopard stuck inside the factory. A team of four animal experts along with members of the forest department were able to corner the exotic animal behind shipping pallets and tranquilized it from a safe distance. The experts from Wildlife SOS said the leopard is male and aged around three. The wildlife protection group even made a pretty good YouTube video of the whole rescue operation of the majestic animal that took close to four hours.
The leopard was hurried off the factory and is currently under medical observation before its release in the wild. Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO and Co-founder of Wildlife SOS explains, “Due to rapid habitat loss, leopards of Maharashtra are being forced to venture into human-dominated areas.” The state of Maharashtra where the Mercedes plant is located is believed to have one of the highest population densities for leopards in the world. Rapid deforestation will only increase the likelihood of such incidents. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident and the beautiful cat will soon be back in its natural habitat. The Mercedes-Benz plant in India assembles several different models, including the Mercedes-Maybach sedan.