A panther, which was creating panic in the Guntakal mandal of the Anantapur district for the past few days, was caught by the forest officials and villagers here on Thursday.
The wild cat had killed a large number of sheep and goats near Mulakalapenta village of Guntakal mandal. In the early hours of Thursday, it attacked a herd of sheep in a farm located on the outskirts of the village.
Though the villagers at the farm ran helter-skelter towards the village, a bunch of domesticated dogs in the farm surrounded the panther and forced it to clamber onto a nearby tree.
The noise brought the other villagers to the farm. They spread nets around the tree to capture the animals. Meanwhile, the forest officials, who rushed to the spot, ensured that it was not killed by the irate villagers. The villagers pelted stones on the animal, and it fell into the trap laid on the ground.
In the morning, the forest officials led by District Forest officer Subba Reddy brought the animal to Gooty and a cage was brought from the forest area near Bukkapatnam village.
Soon, the animal was transferred to the cage and taken to the Mutchukota reserve forest, and was left about seven kilometres inside.
According to the tiger census of 2009, the drought-prone Anantapur district is home to about 45 panthers. Due to shrinking of the forest area, these wild cats are forced to enter human habitations on the forest fringes, said Mr. Subba Reddy.
The wild cat had killed a large number of sheep and goat in the past few days