Search for leopard continues in Belagavi

Forest officers used the services of drone operators to search the leopard in Belagavi on Friday.

Forest officers used the services of drone operators to search the leopard in Belagavi on Friday. | Photo Credit: P.K. BADIGER

A team of Forest Department and SDRF personnel continued their search for a leopard in the north-western part of Belagavi on Friday.

They utilised the services of drone operators and wildlife photographers apart from conducting a combing operation on foot.

A team led by Bhimsen Pappu operated drones on the golf course. They tried to get a live video feed of the area, apart from getting pictures. Another team of wildlife photographers tried to use their long-range lenses to try to spot the movement of the leopard.

Forest officers did a combing operation involving 70 personnel armed with sticks. They also burst crackers to see if the wild animal would emerge out of its hiding place. Similar operations would be taken up on Saturday and Sunday, officers said.

Assistant conservators of forest Shivarudrappa Kabadagi, Mallinath Kusnal, and Santosh Chauvan, range forest officers Rakesh Arjunwad, Basavaraj Walad, Vinod Angadi, Prasanna Bellad, Prasanna Subedar and others participated.

As many as 24 camera traps have been set up at suspected places, and seven cages have been placed with baits such as dogs and goats.

Meanwhile, there were reports of leopards seen in Yadur and Dharmatti. There are also reports of a hyena being spotted near Modaga village and a deer in Bhutaramanahatti.

Mudassir Ternikar, a wildlife enthusiast, felt that sightings of wild animals had increased near Belagavi due to the reduction of forest cover and destruction of their habitat. “We are indiscriminately building homes and resorts in forest areas. We have cut down grasslands and dried up drinking holes for animals. Vast areas of jungles have been converted into farmland. It is the human beings who have encroached upon the homes of animals and not the other way round,’’ he said.

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Printable version | Sep 3, 2022 4:19:07 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/search-for-leopard-continues-in-belagavi/article65762569.ece