Children of Bhatvadar village spotted a kitten gamboling about in the bushes while they were out grazing cattle at the national highway near Rajula on Thursday.
Overjoyed, they took it home and played with it throughout the day. "It was only when we heard the cub growling; that we realized it was not a kitten but a leopard. Fearing that its mother might be nearby, we released it in the wild near where the children had found it," said village panchayat member Bharat Sakat.
"We've contacted the forest department, urging it to cage the big cat if it's prowling in our area," he added.
Meanwhile, the forest department admitted to having received a representation from Bhatvadar villagers. "We've sent a team of officials to the site from where the cub was found. Also, we will be surveying the village for pug marks," said a forester.