Residents of an apartment complex on Kanakapura Road, on the outskirts of Bangalore, have reported sighting an unusual visitor. Over the last two months, at least 50 residents claim to have seen a leopard and its cub walking around or snoozing on the rocks opposite their complex. They alerted the Forest Service officials who turned up promptly and burst crackers to scare the leopards. However this week, students of school nearby noticed leopard pugmarks in their football ground.

Shraboni, a resident, said, “The crackers are of no help. The animals probably move from one spot to another. They must find out where the animal is.” She was the first to sight the animal on April 1. While she saw only a juvenile, her friend saw an adult and a cub. Recently, she was about to step out of her house when she saw the leopard in the scrubs. There is a drain between the complex and the scrubs.

She said, “There appears to be a full family. I am worried for human beings in the vicinity, but am more concerned for the animals.”

It appears that the leopard and its cub visited a nearby school this week. Students have taken photos of leopard pugmarks on their football ground.

Precautions

Ajai Misra, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, said that the apartment complex has been constructed in an area that was earlier a leopard habitat. With people moving into the area, a lot of garbage is generated daily and disposed nearby. This attracts stray dogs that the leopards prey on. He has advised the residents to ensure that the area around the apartment complex is kept free of garbage and to be careful while venturing out at night.

Anupam Agarwal, Superintendent of Police, Ramanagara, said forest officials handle such cases but are free to call the police for help. He said, “So far, they have not called us in this regard.”