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LEOPARD ESCAPES FROM ZOO
SENSATION IN MELBOURNE
YOUXG GIRL'S TTTRTT.T.TX'ft
MELBOURNE, February 22.
Having escaped before daylight yester day - morning tram the strong box in •which it ha,} fceen temporarily houeed in ythe Zoological Gardens, a fierce leopard badly frightened the Misses Aline, "Rita, and Hilda. Le Eouef, the daughters of the director of the gardens (Mr- D. Le Sonef). Then, despite efforts to trace and capture it, the animal leapt tee fence and wandered into Baikly street, Brunswick, where, alter terrifying Mrs J- Walters, and chasing her daughter Winnie into the house, it took refuge in a tree in the backyard, and was '-here shot -while fiercely attempting to charge Mr. Joseph C. Lacey, a neighbor -who "lad conf tn thf rpcen". _ Havine dispatched the brute •with three bullets from hfe service rifle. Mr- Laccy ca;mly rang up
•naious director that he could take da
j!,,.. v 0i Luc ;u jila convenience.
That the leopard had escaped was finst notice,j by Mr. Le SouePs :hree daughter, who were awakened to ine fact in no enviable fashion. The three gxr?<s TOoTa 3-> a jnom w^irji •was practically open, being merely -wired in. ine ieoparti aiscio^ea us pre sence by prowling angrily -up and down an front of the room and growling, and very soon the girls were wide awake, r'lt's a leopard! It's a leopard!" they shrieked to their father, who put in an appearance in the garden. "Don't go too close: fie's dangerous."
Mr- Le Souef had been disturbed earlier in the morning by the savage barking of his terriers and the nervous cries of the deer. Thinking that some thing bad happened among the animals, lie slipped on a dressing-gown and Up pers, and, U'itt his doge, fronted about the sbruhlfety and gardens, when the cries of his daughters were heard- Rea lising that prompt action was necessaiy, Mr. Ee "Souef ran toward the animal, but it turned tail and bolted down a foot path, jumped over a fence, and vanished.
The dogs kept up the chase for a while and then came 5>ack. . This was - about 3 o'clock in the moming When tiie light grew stronger Mr. Le Sonef went all over the gardens and iftytmd everything in order except the leopard's cage. The animal bad been taken out of lis cage on the previous evening and put into the Btrong box in which lie Shad originally come from. India. This had been strengthened by three or ffonrr %-dn. nails, which were drtven into the woodwork so that the sliding door would be dotihly secured. The leopard secured a leverage on the door, forced it partly up, and -then burst through with such strength that it drew the nails. Its (footprints were fallowed, and a sys tematic search anade by two araned em ployes, but without result.
1 With the enraged leopard close at her jheels Miss Winnie Waters "(the daughter
of Mrs. J.~ Waters) fled screaming down the yard of her mother's residence at Sarfely street, Brunswick, and after Teaching the back door in safety and slamming it behind her, collapsed in a faint. Beleasa from her peril followed swiftly, however, for 10 minutes later Mr. X»acey, standing on the roof of a shed next . dsor, shot the animal with a military lifie.
lAlont 6.30 Mim Waters, who resides at Hi BarMey street, heard a toTtSc coanmo ttion among the <fow3s in the yard at the scar o! "the house, and -went out to toves itigate the cause. Beaching the fowl yard, vMdi is about €0 ift. frotin 4h& hac3t door, Miss Waters found the fowls huddled in one comer, cackling loudly. Thinking that a dog must have got into ithe stand, wihich Is enclosed by a. tnaO wire fence, the girl went to a Issge shed situated et one end of the yard, and, ; stooping, entered through a law doorway.
lis she did bo there was a savage snarl, and, to her horror, from a dark comer of the £hed sprang a lithe spotted ani nafl, lashing its- tail Curiously from side
For a moment Miss Waters, paralysed ty" sudden fear, stood motionless in the lloorway, while the leopard stood facing ber. in the centre at the shed. Then ut tering a piercing scream, she turned and fled, and as she did so the animal sprang.
her by a few inches. Down the yard Miss Waters ran, tripping, in her fright, over the branches of a large pep per tree which grows in the fowlyard. For a moment the leopard, emerging Into the open, hesitated—a hesitation which iprobaMy saved' Miss Waters' life—for by the time it made another bound she was dose to the back door, which she elam sned behind her as her pursuer reached the gate of the fowlyard.
Armed and ready for the sudden emergency, it fell to Mr. Joseph <3. Laeey to dispatch, the leopard, which he did with three shots, fired from the roof of a .shed in the yard adjoining that of , Mrs. J. Waters' premises in Barkly street,
Brunswick, where the fierce animal had taken refuge in a tree.
Mr. Lacey, who lived in Baddy street, md is -employed at the Hart Printing Works, flinders street, told a graphic story.
"Before I came into- town this morn ing," he said, "news was brought to me by my cousin, Mr. A. Barmington, that a dangerous leopard or tiger had taken possession of a house in the neighbor hood. Having learned that it was on the premises of Mrs. J. Waters, of Barkly street, East Brunswick, I got my rifle and went to see to it. I went round to Mrs. Waters' house and found it tightly shut. Mrs. Waters, who was very much frightened, spoke to me through a little window. She said that the leopard was in one of the trees in her garden.
"Thinking that it might drop on me from a tree before I saw it. I-went into ihe next yard and climbed on a small
.ihed with, a view of jumping over. I
lad not done so when the brute, who bad come to the ground and was prowl ing about veiy angrily and evidently bent on mischief, eaw me and made a spring. I got him with a bullet which checked him for a second, and then he sprang again, getting the bullet this time in the middle of the eSiest He clung to the fence growling, and then I shot him in the head finished him."