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Leopard ‘sighting’ sends officials into a tizzy

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Search operation: A policeman stands guard as a member of the Koracha community looks for the leopard in Chitradurga on Wednesday.
Search operation: A policeman stands guard as a member of the Koracha community looks for the leopard in Chitradurga on Wednesday.

Staff Correspondent

Chitradurga: Report of a leopard sighting here on Wednesday, kept the police, personnel of the Fire and Emergency Services, officials of Department of Forests and the public on their toes for over two and a half hours.

Residents of Ucchangi Yellamma Temple area near the fort reportedly saw a leopard disappearing behind thick bushes at around 8.30 a.m.

On being informed, the police and personnel of the Fire and Emergency Services arrived at the spot.

People of the Koracha community, (a tribal community that is mainly into pig rearing and catching wild animals) were told to capture the animal. They brought big nets and virtually barricaded the entire area where the leopard was reportedly hiding.

Six members of the community armed with sticks went looking for the leopard. However, their 30-minute search amid the bushes yielded no result.

A large number of people were witnessing the operation from the roofs of nearby houses and from the top of the hillock. The police had a tough time controlling the people from venturing near the spot.

As a last-ditch effort, firecrackers were burst in an effort to draw the animal out of the bushes, but in vain. The authorities later called off the search operation.

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