Leopard spotted on film set was attracted by leftovers.

by Jennie Kermode

Film sets are notoriously messy places, but dropping litter can cause more problems than you might expect. Cast and crew working at Film City near Mumbai got more excitement than they bargained for last Thursday when a leopard invaded their set. Now local rangers say that it was probably attracted by discarded food.

The incident, which led to filmmakers hiding while the invader was tracked, is actually the second time a leopard has strayed into what is one of India's biggest filmmaking centres. The centre, which has several sound stages as well as outdoor lots, adjoins a national park. Staff there think that Thursday's leopard was probably a female with cubs near the border. In that situation the big cats are more likely to take risks in search of easy pickings.

A senior conservationist familiar with the area told the Times of India that his department has previously warned filmmakers about leaving food waste on set, but to no avail.

The centre, which was established in 1977, is at the heart of the Bollywood production industry and has also been used by several international productions.

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