Roving leopards spread fear near Hesaraghatta

Roving leopards spread fear near Hesaraghatta

Seven dogs and six goats fell prey to three leopards which strayed into the fields of Central Fodder Seed Production Farm in Byatha village near Hesaraghatta recently. 

In an effort to trap the animals, the forest department has laid traps over the last 15 days using a stray dog as bait — so far without success. The department has also issued pamphlets to the residents of seven villages cautioning them to stay indoors after dusk and not to walk in the fields during early morning hours.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Narasimha, the range forest officer said that, “Three villagers had complained about their goats being devourered by the leopards, and the forest department has paid a compensation of Rs 3,000 to them,” he said.

In addition to the traps, Nature Conservation Foundation, an NGO, has also been permitted to fix camera traps in the area. Sanjay Gubbi from the foundation said that their role was only to ascertain the movement of the leopards in the area. “Just a day before, a camera trap captured the image of one of the leopards,” he added.   

Gajendra, a local guard at the farm said that this was the first time that leopards have strayed into their villages. “The leopards, which include one adult and two young cubs, have been seen several times. The animals mostly come out after dusk and have been found resting on a rock near the lake in the evening,” he said.

Vijay Thakre, director incharge at the farm, said that he had spotted a leopard on the compound wall of the housing quarters one evening. He said that children who play outside in the evening have been warned not to wander into the fields after nightfall. The affected villages are Byatha, Kakola, Sonnenahalli, Karlapura, Kamakshipura and Seerechanda and Hesaraghatta.

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