Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Leopards on prowl on Bannerghatta main road

Leopards on prowl on Bannerghatta main road
Tuesday September 25 2007 12:37 IST


BANGALORE: The periodic sighting of leopards on a busy five-km stretch of Bannerghatta Road has created panic among people, following which the state forest department has declared the stretch as a danger zone.

Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) officials along with the forest department have appealed to people to ensure safety of children. The BNP officials received complaints from locals on Saturday stating that a female leopard and a cub were sighted near Mount St Joseph Institution in Kalena Agrahara area and the adjacent Holy Trinity Church campus. On Sunday, two cubs and a female leopard were spotted there.

It is not the first time that wild cats have been spotted. Three of them were spotted on Sept 9 and 10 on these premises.

Local people say that a female leopard and two cubs were spotted in the school again on Sept 22 and the following day at a cinema tent, situated a kilometre away from the school. Speaking to Express, BNP Deputy Conservator of Forests Vanashree Vipin Singh said that the five kilometre stretch from Kalkere State Forest to St Joseph Church on Bannerghatta Road, towards the north has been declared as danger zone and people residing here have been requested to be cautious.

She added that the team has set traps with scapegoats to catch the animals, which would be released into the wild later. It is difficult to tranquilize them, she added. So far no injuries or attacks have been recorded and adequate measures are being taken to ensure that the animals are caught, Singh said.

BNP ACF Ranganath added that the staff are patrolling the area and are searching for traces of the animals like pug marks and scats. ‘‘Since it is a female with two cubs, extra precaution must be taken as she could be very protective about the cubs.

Labourers working in Sampige Farm House in Gottigere also reported that they spotted a leopard on Sunday,’’ he said.


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