To be tranquilised and let off into Sathyamangalam forest

A leopard which struck fear in the heart of residents of Kavulpalayam and surrounding villages abutting the forest areas on the Perambalur-Ariyalur highway here was trapped in the early hours of Monday. Selvakumar, village panchayat president of Kavulpalayam, alerted forest department personnel about goats, grazing in forest areas, going missing over the past couple of weeks. The villagers suspected that some wild animal from the forest is preying on their cattle.

Following the complaint, forest officials led by G.Vadivel, District Forest Officer, visited the area and spotted some footprints and excreta, which indicated the presence of leopards.

Forest and Revenue officials warned people through ‘tom-tom’ against venturing into the forest or isolated areas following the suspected animal movement.

Subsequently, forest department personnel brought a specially-made cage from Pollachi and placed it in the forest area with a bait. A leopard was trapped in the cage at about 3 a.m. on Monday.

Mr.Vadivel, who visited the area early this morning, said a forest veterinary team from Pollachi was on its way to Perambalur.

Veterinary doctors are expected to tranquilise the leopard on Tuesday morning after which it would be let off into the Sathyamangalam forest. The trapped panther was stable and is being fed with beef and chicken, Mr.Vadivel said.

People from various parts of Perambalur and Ariyalur districts have been visiting the spot to have a look at the animal.