Leopard scare back at Tirumala walkway, temple authorities issue alert for devotees

Public TV English
Public TV English
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TIRUPATI: Movements of a leopard and a bear moving close to the pedestrian route near Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple were spotted on trap cameras between October 24-27, raising concerns among Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) officials who have issued an alert for devotees trekking to the temple.

The TTD officials have appealed to devotees to be alert and cautious while trekking on the Alipiri-Tirumala walkway and urged them to walk in groups only.

In the past, there were instances where wild beasts attacked devotees and TTD authorities started handing out sticks to those who trekked to the temple. ‘Operation’ Leopard’ was initiated, where traps were set up along various places on the way and officials caught more than five leopards and moved them to different places.

Last month, forest officials caught a leopard from Tirumala near the Lord Narasimha Swamy temple, the sixth big cat to be trapped since the start of ‘Operation Leopard’.

“Six leopards have been caught till date, since August. TTD and Forest Department are continuously working for the protection of devotees,” Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Chairman Bhumana Karunakara Reddy said.

The officials further informed that the leopard was captured at the same place where Lakshitha, a minor girl, was killed in an attack by the wild beast last month. The TTD Chairman said the Tirumala walkaway route was being continuously monitored.

The forest department had launched ‘Operation Leopard,’ in August after several leopards were sighted on the walkway to the hilltop temples. “The forest officials had set up 300 trap cameras at several locations in the forest to monitor the movement of the leopards and trap the animal,” they said. (ANI)

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