BENGALURU: With the leopard scare continuing on the outskirts of the city adjoining the Turahalli forest, the Forest Department staff are making all efforts to trap the animals by laying traps while advising people to remain calm.
The Forest Department has begun combing operations for the second day, right from 4.30 am on Saturday with the assistance of locals and has been cautioning people not to venture out alone till the leopards are trapped.
They also visited godowns and sheds near the Turahalli forest and advised the watchmen not to keep food out for animals and to inform them if they spot any leopards. The locals were also told that leopards tend to frequent places where there are more dogs in search of food. The staff also conducted searches around actor Rakshit Shetty’s newly-built house near the Gunekal forest area and in Kodipalya near Uttarahalli where a leopard had attacked a deer.
They are combing forested areas looking for pug marks and faeces, but did not find anything on Saturday. The department will undertake combing operations in the night also.
In Chikkegowdanapalya, locals have stopped venturing out after 6 pm and all shops are downing their shutter around 7 pm. Schoolchildren are also forced to skip their classes. Locals say blood stains were found at some places and believe that a leopard may have attacked some animal. At Sompura nearby, leopards had attacked stray dogs recently.
At places where cages have been set, curious locals have been visiting the traps, raising concern among Forest staff that such movement may drive away the leopards. They are also planning to restrict public movement around such places.
Meanwhile, wildlife expert Sanjay Gubbi has said that it is important to remain cautious and avoid any unnecessary travel especially going out alone at night. “As far as possible, move in groups and talk loudly so that leopards do not come close. Pets should be kept inside houses. Parents should also be careful about children”, he advised.
He also pointed out that the risk of a leopard attack is more when a person is sitting or sleeping and hence, it is better not to sleep outside or venture out for attending nature calls, he suggested.
Elsewhere, at Channapura village at the foot of Chennarayabetta in Doddaballapur taluk of Bengaluru Rural district, pug marks were found close to a cage which had been placed in a ragi field. Villagers are in fear to carry on with the farming activities. Recently, leopards had attacked livestock in the village. The villagers are now moving around with sticks in their hands to ward of any leopard attack.
After a leopard had killed a BCom student on Thursday at Kebbehundi village near T Narsipur, a leopard was spotted near Maliyur close to Mysuru on Friday night. The leopard was caught on camera by some people travelling in a car near a distillery. Employees of the distillery are now scared to turn up for work.
Up north at Honnavar in Uttara Kannada district, a leopard attacked a pet dog belonging to one Ganapathi Paramaiah Hegde in Golibail village under Hosakuli panchayat limits. In CCTV footage, a leopard can be seen approaching the front porch of the house close to 5 am and closing in on the dog, which is chained, and attacking it. However, the dog fought back and the leopard ran away since it was chained.
On Friday, leopards had carried away two dogs and two heads of cattle from the same village. The Forest Department staff have placed a cage at Navilugona and have launched an operation to capture the leopard.