BENGALURU: Combing operation by Forest officials for leopards continued for the fifth day on Monday on the outskirts of the city. A leopard was spotted in Turahalli state forest area, but could not be traced and residents of the area are panic. The search operation has been going on for the last 96 hours and Forest officials are keeping a watchful eye while making public announcements every day.
The Forest Department team, which has been trying to trace pug marks and faeces, is now thinking of shifting the cage, which is placed in a corner. On the other hand, villagers are demanding that more cages be placed in the forest. Meanwhile. the numbers of people who going out for walking and jogging has drastically reduced.
People of Siddanapalya are also in panic as the leopard has remained untraced. Siddanapalya is located on the edge of the reserve forest which is spread across 1,300 acres. There are three forest areas in Turahalli — minor forest, state forest and reserve forest area — all linked by corridors and a leopard can go everywhere.
Leopards are a clever animals that hide in the forest without being seen and can adjust to their surroundings. They also constantly change places, making it difficult to track or trace them.
There is a possibility that it might have gone to another forest area as there is a corridor from Turahalli forest to Bannerghatta forest through the Kaggalipura forest. The Turahalli forest is also linked to to Savanadurga. Wildlife experts feel that given the expanse of the forest region, it may take a long time to catch a leopard.
Meanwhile, a leopard was sighted in several villages in north taluk Bengaluru and its movement was captured on CCTV cameras. Earlier it was found near the ITC factory and now it was found in the neighbouring Bainahalli village. It may be changed its place, forest office officials suspected.
Forest officials said that a leopard was found on the ITC factory premises but feel that it may have moved now. A leopard was seen near a house in a plantation and villagers have requested officials to set up a trap.
The sightings have caused panic across the outskirts of the city and people are hesitant to come out from their houses after dusk.