Leopard sighted near Belagavi golf course twice, holiday for schools

Two bus drivers saw the leopard near the golf course in Belagavi early in the morning on August 22. They made a video, which went viral on social media

August 22, 2022 11:44 am | Updated 02:03 pm IST - Belagavi

A team of over 200 police and forest officers has been searching for the leopard since it was first seen in Jadhav Nagar in Belagavi on August 5, 2022. 

A team of over 200 police and forest officers has been searching for the leopard since it was first seen in Jadhav Nagar in Belagavi on August 5, 2022.  | Photo Credit: BADIGER PK

Education Department declared a holiday for 22 schools in the military camp area in Belagavi, in north Karnataka, after a leopard was seen crossing Club Road in the morning on August 22.

A video shot on a mobile phone by two bus drivers of a leopard crossing Club Road near the military camp area was shared widely on social media. The wild animal ran for nearly 200 metres on the sidewalk, on the left side of the golf course, before crossing over to the other side of the road, between Gandhi Circle and Vanita Vidyalaya ground.

Leopard sighted in Belagavi
Two bus drivers saw the leopard crossing Club Road near the military camp early in the morning, in Belagavi on August 22, 2022.

The video drew a quick response from the Education Department. Deputy Director of Public Instruction Basavaraj Nalatwad issued a note to schools to remain closed. However, some schools had opened by the time the note was issued. Parents were asked to come to the schools and pick up their children.

Forest officials reached the spot and were searching for pug marks.

While police personnel and mediapersons were waiting on Club Road, and some forest officials were searching for the leopard inside the golf course, the wild animal crossed the road again. The anima ran from the golf course into the shrubs in the military camp.

A forest official informed that they are not authorised to shoot the leopard. The leopard can be shot only if the Karnataka Government declares the animal a vermin (a wild animal that is harmful to humans or crops).

MLA Anil Benake had left the spot a few minutes earlier. On being bombarded with questions by mediapersons, he said he would seek help from the CM.

To questions about why Belagavi did not have a full-time deputy conservator of forests, and why the conservator of forests or the chief wildlife warden had not visited Belagavi so far, the MLA promised to get back with answers after speaking to Forest Minister Umesh Katti.

A team of over 200 police and forest officers has been searching for the leopard since it was first seen in Jadhav Nagar in Belagavi on August 5.

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