Cat inside airport, not confirmed as leopard

Footage reportedly of a leopard roaming inside the International Airport area of Shamshabad has kept the Forest department officials on tenterhooks, though they have stopped short of confirming the animal as leopard.

The footage, recorded by the security cameras of the airport on Sunday night, showed a cat with the dimensions of leopard crossing the fencing between the air area and the land area of the airport.

Forest officials have not officially confirmed that it was a leopard, and said it could have also been a jungle cat. On Monday night, a security person captured the second image of a cat inside the premises, but officials have confirmed that the animal was a jungle cat, as stripes were visible.

“We have not found any pug marks, as the area was dry. We cannot install our camera traps as it is a high security area, and we would need permissions from CISF authorities for any kind of operation. We are waiting to see if there would be any kill, so that we can confirm the presence of a leopard,” informed an official.

The vast jungle area inside the airport, however, is highly suitable for leopard habitat, with its rich prey base of pea fowl, porcupine, wild pig and other animals. Officials are ambivalent about the prospects of capturing it due to the difficulty involved in covering thousands of acres, and the low risk posed by the animal to humans.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 6:36:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/cat-inside-airport-not-confirmed-as-leopard/article33611918.ece

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