Leopard captured in BEML complex on Mysuru outskirts

A leopard was trapped at BEML complex in Mysuru on Thursday and later released in the BRT Tiger Reserve in Chamarajanagar district.

A leopard was trapped at BEML complex in Mysuru on Thursday and later released in the BRT Tiger Reserve in Chamarajanagar district. | Photo Credit: SRIRAM M A

A leopard which was sighted in the BEML complex on the outskirts of the city was trapped and later released into the forest on Thursday.

The forest department was informed of the presence of the spotted cat by the factory personnel following which a cage was placed to trap it.

Kamala Karikalan, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Territorial) said the leopard was a male aged around 6 years and was sighted in the factory complex at Koorgalli Industrial Area. BEML has a vast complex and a large swathe of land beyond the production units is covered by thick vegetation and woods. Leopards have been frequently sighted in this area and captured and released into the forests in the past but the space tends to be occupied by other leopards that find a safe sanctuary.

Ms. Karikalan said the leopard was examined by the veterinarians and found to be in good health, following which it was transported and released into the wild in the BRT Tiger Reserve in Chamarajanagar district.

36 leopards captured in 14 months

The forest department periodically receives information from local residents in and around Mysuru whenever leopards are sighted in human landscape. While some of them get trapped in the cages, others prove to be elusive. The leopard in the BEML complex is suspected to have made the woods its territory as there was relatively less disturbance. The authorities placed the cage camouflaging it with vegetation and the big cat suspected to have walked into the trap in the early hours of Thursday.

The forest department has captured and released 36 leopards into the jungles in the Mysuru territorial division in about 14 months — 10 leopards so far since April 2022 and 26 leopards during 2021-22.

Every time a leopard is captured, it is tagged with a microchip and given an identity. While the microchip does not enable the authorities to monitor its movement, it helps then determine whether a captured leopard had been trapped and released into the forest earlier.  

Landscape conducive for urban cats

The landscape in Mysuru district, including the city, is such that it supports leopards which are evolving into urban cats, said Ms. Kamala Karikalan. ‘’They prey on street dogs and pigs that are found close to garbage mounds and have adapted to the landscape. Besides, there is scrub vegetation in and around the city connected to sugarcane fields on the outskirts, where the leopards find a safe sanctuary,” said Ms. Karikalan.

Beyond Mysuru, the Chamundi Hills has a dense forest cover while the hinterland provides link to other reserve forests, enabling the leopards to move with ease, she added.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2022 10:06:41 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/leopard-trapped-in-beml-complex-on-mysuru-outskirts-released-into-brt-tiger-reserve/article65693932.ece