Combing operations have been intensified in and around Horalahalli in T. Narsipur where a 11-year-old boy was killed by a leopard on Saturday, January 21, and his body discovered on Sunday.
More than 130 forest department staff including those roped in from Elephant Task Force in Hassan have been deployed and 40 camera traps, thermal drone and infrared cameras have been installed to capture the image of the leopard if it was still lurking around in the vicinity.
Ms. Malathi Priya, Chief Conservator of Forests, said the massive ‘’Tumakuru cage’’ which had enabled the capture of another leopard in the taluk in December, has also been installed and people in conflict-prone zones have been told not to venture out after dusk.
A vehicle strapped with loud speaker has been making announcements in the villages urging the people to remain indoors after evening while the forest department has distributed pamphlets containing certain dos and don’ts to the villagers in view of the recurring leopard attacks in the taluk which has claimed 4 lives in three months including two last week.
Multiple teams have been constituted and the operations are being coordinated by the senior officials of the forest department.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru K.V. Rajendra has issued ‘’strict instructions’’ to a private sugar mill operating in the region to complete harvesting of sugarcane within 15 days. Leopards find a safe haven in the sugarcane fields and hence, the decision. But forest department staff will be present during the harvesting to provide security in case there was a leopard in hiding in the field, said Malathi Priya. She said though a similar instruction was issued after the second killing that was reported in November, it was ignored by the factory authorities.
The forest department and the revenue administration has also issued instructions to the land owners to clear the agricultural fields of scrub and overgrown vegetation as leopards are known to use them as hideouts.