The trap was set up half way on the footpath leading to the sacred shrine

The panther, which was stalking devotees on the footpath to Tirumala finally landed in the trap laid by the authorities, in the wee hours of Saturday.

The trap was set up half way on the footpath leading to the sacred shrine.

The big cat had created terror on the footpath during the past two weeks injuring two girls, besides giving sleepless nights to the authorities.

The authorities immediately shifted the animal to the Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park at Tirupati as hundreds of onlookers gathered at the spot to have a look at the panther.

The panther was given a tranquilliser shot. Along with the cage, it was shifted downhill to Tirupati where a team of veterinary doctors were waiting.

The wild life authorities said that the doctors would examine the panther in the zoo premises, after which steps would be taken to relocate the animal to a safer place. The Chief Wild Life Warden would take a final decision on the issue.

It is likely to be released in the forests near Srisailam. To a question, officials said that they were continuing their efforts to trap another panther – a ‘cub' as is widely believed.

TTD Divisional Forest Officer K. Pradeep said that the authorities had installed infra-red cameras at various points where the traps are being set up to gather more information on the movement of the beast. He ruled out the chances of the panther turning into a man-eater and said that the captured panther was a ‘female.'