Bengaluru to get separate leopard task force

Forest and Environment Minister Eshwar Khandre’s direction comes in the wake of repeated sightings of leopards in residential areas of Bengaluru

Updated - November 06, 2023 10:43 am IST

Published - November 06, 2023 10:42 am IST - Bengaluru

Forest Department officials and police personnel move a cage carrying a leopard captured in Bengaluru, on November 1, 2023.

Forest Department officials and police personnel move a cage carrying a leopard captured in Bengaluru, on November 1, 2023.

Karnataka’s Forest and Environment Minister Eshwar Khandre has directed the Forest Department to set up a dedicated rapid response leopard task force for Bengaluru city. The direction comes in the wake of repeated sighting of leopards in the city’s residential areas.

Mr. Khandre said that this year, due to lack of rain, wild animals are coming from the forest areas in search of food. Leopards are being sighted on the outskirts of Bengaluru, especially those which are in hilly areas and those close to the periphery of forests.

He has instructed the department to capture wild animals that stray into Bengaluru, and release them into the forests or send them to rehabilitation centres.

Additional elephant task forces formed

The Minister said that, in addition to the existing five elephant rapid task forces, two additional task forces, one each at Bannerghatta and Ramanagara, have been formed.

In hilly areas of Karnataka where presence of leopards and bears is more, he wants at least one task force to be formed for every three districts, and he wants them to be provided with advanced equipment.

Mr. Khandre directed to give proper training to the personnel of the leopard task force, and conduct mock drills to check the readiness of the personnel.

On November 1, a leopard which was on the prowl for five days was shot at by officials while attempting to capture it after the animal attacked an official.

Another leopard has been reportedly sighted in Chikkathogur, off NICE Road, by residents of the locality.

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