A leopard which had strayed into the human habitation at Halladamanuganahalli was trapped by the Forest Department officials on Saturday night.
The fully-grown male leopard used to frequent the village, which is located about 12 km from Mysore in H.D. Kote taluk, and had created a fear psychosis among the residents.
There were complaints about missing sheep and calves, while a few stray dogs too were reportedly prayed upon by the leopard. Hence, the Forest Department staff laid bait in the form of a live dog and placed it inside a squeeze cage. The trap shut as soon as the leopard entered the cage and it was captured alive.
The Forest Department staff waited for nearly 10 days and kept vigil through the nights, waiting for the leopard to bite the bait which finally came about on Saturday.
The captured leopard was reckoned to be about 8 to 9 years old and measured about 1.5 metres in length and was shifted to the forests. The species are highly adaptive and can survive in dense jungles as also scrub forests and fields preying on domestic animals.
It is suspected that the predator had strayed out of its habitat and adapted itself to the new environment. Leopards straying into human landscape are common in Mysore-Mandya-Chamarajanagar belt where forests have been supplanted by agricultural fields. But thick forest cover including national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are still found in the region where the leopard population is high. The leopard range in Mysore includes the entire belt from Chamundi Hills to Arabhithittu where there are patches of forests surrounded by fields and leopards are known to adapt themselves to the habitat.