The elusive leopard which killed a 11-year-old boy in Horalahalli village in T. Narsipur taluk of Mysuru district has been camera-trapped, shoring up hopes of its capture in due course.
Though nearly 40 cameras, including infra-red camera, have been deployed apart from the use of thermal drones, the leopard had proved elusive since Sunday. But there was a photograph of a leopard very close to the place where the boy was killed and hence it is speculated that the same leopard was prowling around in the area.
Meanwhile, the large “Tumakuru cage”, measuring almost 10 ft by 15 ft, has also been installed close to where the leopard was camera-trapped and the local people had been instructed to leave the place undisturbed, said Malathi Priya, Chief Conservator of Forests, Mysuru Circle.
Absence of people’s movement is the key to trapping the animal and the Forest Department had adopted a similar method when in pursuit of another leopard which had kept the personnel on tenterhooks for more than two months before being captured in December 2022. Around 130 personnel have been split into different groups and are on the task since the last three days in pursuit of the leopard.
Frequency of bus services
Meanwhile, district in charge Minister S.T. Somashekar, who conducted a review meeting with officials, said here on Wednesday that for the benefit of the student community and locals, the frequency of bus services would be increased.
He said students had complained that it was not possible to attend schools and colleges in the adjoining villages, and many skipped classes owing to the fear of leopard in the absence of bus services. So KSRTC had been instructed to ensure adequate and regular services during the school and college hours for the benefit of students. “Excuses of lack of adequate passenger load will not be accepted,” said Mr. Somashekar.
The Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation had also been instructed to ensure power supply to farmers during daytime to energise the irrigation pump sets. This would obviate the need for farmers to venture out to farms at night.
There were also complaints of untended farmlands and standing sugarcane crop and the district administration had already issued instructions to complete sugarcane harvesting. This would eliminate potential places for leopards to find sanctuary.
The local police had also been instructed to conduct patrolling regularly with sirens so that the leopard did not venture into human landscape, the Minister added.
The forest department has also sought restriction on the movement of people and prohibitory orders under section 144 will be implemented in conflict-affected villages till the leopard was captured. Besides, there is a general advisory to the public to desist from venturing out during evenings, said the minister. MLA Ashwin Kumar, MLC Manje Gowda, Deputy Commissioner K.V.Rajendra, DCF Mahesh Kumar, SP Seema Latkar and other officials were present.