Leopard strays into Bengaluru school

Leopard strays into Bengaluru school

A leopard entered the Vibgyor High School in Kundalahalli early on Sunday and injured four persons, leading to tense moments in and around the school. It was ultimately caught around 7:30 pm by forest officials.

CCTV camera footage from the school showed the leopard roaming around its corridors at 4 am, when it was first spotted by school authorities. 

Deepika Bajpai, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bengaluru Urban, said the department got a call from the school at 6 am. “We reached the spot at 10 am and started the operation to capture the leopard. However, we were able to tranquilise it at only at 7:30 pm,” she said.

TV grabs showed the leopard attacking some persons near the school’s swimming pool. The four injured included an activist and conservationist who works with the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP), a worker of the BBP’s SOS centre, a driver with the Forest Department named Benna and conservationist Sanjay Gubbi.

Of the four, Gubbi is believed to have sustained serious injuries and has been admitted to Apollo Hospital in Whitefield.

The leopard is a male of around eight years old. It did not sustain any injuries, according to the latest report. However, clearer information on its exact age and injures will be available after a thorough examination, officials said.

Forest department officials suspect the leopard to have travelled at night as no one reported to have sighted it before the school.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife) Ravi Ralph said the leopard was sent to the BBP and will stay there for two days till forest officials come to a decision whether to release it or not. Presently, the BBP houses around 36 leopards. It will be kept at the BBP rescue centre. The whole operation comprised a contingency team from the Forest Department and the BBP that included the principal chief conservator of forests, chief conservator of forests, deputy conservator of forest, four range forest officers and other officials. The local police were also called in to control the public.

School to work normally
Roshan D’souza, principal, Vibgyor High, said in a statement that the situation had been brought under control. He said there will be regular classes on Monday.

“Amidst the high-rise buildings, it is unfortunate that the leopard entered the area. However, with the help of our security system and CCTV cameras, the leopard activity was traced in time. The school immediately took necessary measures and informed the local police and forest department. An investigation is on at the school by the Forest Department and police. We are awaiting a clearance from the authorities.” The school management has also sent out messages to anxious parents reassuring them about the situation.

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