Increased activity of wild animals at Marikavalasa within Greater Visakha Municipal Corporation limits has spurred the Department of Forest to track the leopard or panther that has been moving in the region for the past several days.

Sub-Divisional Forest Officer Suryanarayana, who inspected the site of leopard attack on tribal students on Saturday, said the department was planning tracking of the feline close to any water body nearby.

“We expect the panther to be with its cubs and the locals here had reported sighting of the animal three times,” he added.

The Department will constitute two teams to perambulate the entire region for two days to look for faecal matter and pug marks of these animals as their presence in the region was expected with contiguous hill ranges running through large areas of reserve forest and human inhabited areas in and around Madhurawada.

Heavy rainfall has not only helped improve vegetative cover in the forest region, but also developed some water bodies on which the wild animals could depend for some time for prey.

Meanwhile, fear has set-in among the tribal students regarding the frequent sighting of wild animals.Sprawling Tribal Welfare Boys Residential School Complex needs an overhead tank to help the students make use of the toilets attached to their dormitories.

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