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Last Updated: Monday, 28 May 2007, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Leopard in visit to Israeli home
Leopard captured by Arthur Du Mosch
Mr Du Mosch had no time to think before grabbing the wild creature

An Israeli wildlife guide has overpowered an ageing leopard that jumped into his bed during the night.

Clad only in his night clothes, Arthur Du Mosch lunged at the big cat and grabbed its neck, pinning it down for 20 minutes until help arrived.

"This kind of thing doesn't happen every day," the 49-year-old said. "I wasn't thinking, I just acted."

Leopards usually enter villages after they become too weak to hunt in the wild. They are little threat to humans.

The uninvited guest is thought to have been trying to catch the family's domestic cat, which had also been lying in the bed.

Mr Du Mosch, who emigrated to Israel from the Netherlands in 1985, said he took the whole experience in his stride, "but the kids were excited".

Israel nature and parks protection officials answered Mr Du Mosch's emergency call and came quickly to collect the leopard.

Spokesman Raviv Shapira said a group of leopards had been observed near Mr Du Mosch's small community of Sde Boker in southern Israel's Negev desert.

"But we have never heard of a leopard coming into a private home," Mr Shapira said.

Mr Du Mosch admitted he might not have fared so well if the leopard had been in better physical condition.

The animal was taken to Beit Dagan veterinary hospital near Tel Aviv for tests and was expected to be released into the wild with an electronic tag.

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