Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE: Forest officials have trapped a two-and-half-year-old male panther at Manombolly Range in Anamallai Tiger Reserve.

Forest Veterinarian N.S. Manoharan said the wild cat was trapped at the Thonimudi estate around 1 a.m. on Wednesday. The officials laid the trap under instructions from the Anamalai Tiger Reserve Field Director H. Basavaraju and Ranger S.A. Xavier after the animal mauled to death a nine-year-old boy. G. Manishankar, son of estate worker Gandhi, was killed on April 28.

Dr. Manoharan said the panther, which was on the prowl for sometime, had also killed cattle in and around the area. The officials tranquilised the animal and took it to Moyar Valley for relocation. The animal was not injured in the process.

Mr. Manoharan also said that 10 panthers had been relocated in the last five years.

Anamallai Planters' Association said that such attacks had caused panic among estate workers, who found it difficult to move around after sunset. The estate managements were also finding it difficult to tackle the situation because of a number of clusters of labour quarters inside the estates.

The Association also said it would co-operate with the Forest Department and the Government to end man-animal conflict. It suggested the constitution of a committee of experts and also representatives of planters' association to bring down the conflict.