Search for elusive leopards continues

The elusive leopards have kept the forest officials on their toes as they are moving from one hideout to another while creating further panic among the general public in areas where they have been sighted in the last few days.

Meanwhile, the forest officials have continued the search for the wild cats in the vicinity of Nrupatunga Hills in Hubballi and in and around Kavalageri village near Dharwad, from where leopard sightings have been reported.

On Friday, Deputy Conservator of Forest Yashpal Ksheersagar led the continued combing operation in Kavalageri village off Dharwad, where a leopard has reportedly taken shelter in a sugarcane field. The search teams comprising personnel from Dharwad, Haveri and Gadag districts have surrounded the field and are keeping a close watch on the movement of the wild animal.

Mr. Yashpal said that they carried out an intensified search on Thursday night. The search team confronted the leopard which, however, gave the slip and disappeared into the thick vegetation of the sugarcane field.

“It is confirmed that the leopard is in the field and we are keeping a close watch. We have found pug marks of the leopard. Leopard droppings found in the field have been sent to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad to find out whether it is the same leopard that was spotted in Hubballi or a different one. Our teams are immediately responding to alerts by villagers,” he said.

He also said that a video shot using drone camera has confirmed the presence of the leopard in the field.

On Friday, the forest officials launched combing operation in Govanakoppa village after they received information about leopard being seen in a banana plantation. However, a thorough search did not yield any result.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad Nitesh Patil also visited Kavalageri village to oversee the search operation to capture the leopard. He appealed to residents not to panic.

In Hubballi, search operations continued in the vicinity of Nrupatunga Hills on Friday too but with little success. Already, 12 schools have been closed till further orders as a precautionary measure and residents have been asked not to venture out unnecessarily, particularly during dawn and dusk.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 8:21:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/search-for-elusive-leopards-continues/article36654169.ece

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