A Negev resident woke up early Monday morning to find a leopard in his bedroom.
The wild animal had been chasing Arthur Damush's beloved cat around the house, and when the two animals entered his bedroom, Damush did not hesitate, and knew exactly what he had to do.
The Midreshest Ben-Gurion resident instinctively jumped out of his bed and caught the wild creature with his bare hands.
In the past two weeks residents of the area noticed that cats were slowly disappearing, and occasionally spotted the leopard sneaking between houses. This time, however, the leopard decided to pay the Damush household a visit.
Raviv Shapira, head of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority's southern district, told Ynet, "Around 3 am, a cat ran into the house, with the leopard chasing after him. The two animals lunged into the bedroom.
"The homeowner who was sleeping with his wife woke up and yelled: 'Leopard!', and at first thought he was seeing things. When the leopard used its teeth to grab the cat by its neck, the homeowner pounced on it and caught it with his hands."
Shapira added that this was the first time he had ever encountered a leopard entering a home.
The leopard. Photo: Amram Tsabri, Israel Nature and Parks Authority
After catching the animal, Damush told his wife to call their neighbor, Yossi Sinai, a Nature and Parks Authority inspector.
"The wife called me and she was very nervous and asked me to come over," Sinai said. "We arrived at the house, and saw Damush holding the leopard with his hands. We took over from that point. The fact that Damush was able to overpower the leopard is outstanding."
The leopard was taken for medical examination in order to determine if it had any diseases and to find out what caused it to get so close to the houses. A transmitter was fixed to the leopard in order to provide information on its whereabouts at all times.
The cat was lightly wounded and Damush, who was slightly scratched, was also taken for testing.