Special team to investigate leopard escape

Special team to investigate leopard escape

Special team to investigate leopard escape

A special team of top forest officials will investigate the shocking escape of a leopard from a cage at the rescue centre of the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) on Monday. 

“We investigated the site and took note of the situation. I have suggested to the BBP to increase the staff strength by hiring another range forest officer and more watchers. It is also important to hire permanent veterinarians in the BBP,” Rehana Banu, chairman, Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK), told Deccan Herald. 

She also stressed the need to make the staff permanent. A proposal in this regard was sent to the finance department two months ago and is awaiting approval. 

The committee will have former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Deepak Sharma, Chief Conservator of Forests and Special Commissioner (Finance), Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, Kumar Pushkar, ZAK member Abhiyu Singh, Chamarajanagar Chief Conservator of Forests B P Ravi (he was director of the Mysuru zoo) and Sunil Panwar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bannerghatta National Park. 

The order on forming the committee was issued on Monday soon after the news of the leopard’s escape broke. The order was revised on Tuesday morning as the earlier list included Manoj Kumar, who has been posted on election duty to Vijayapura, said a committee member. 

DPR readyBBP Executive Director Santosh Kumar said the forest department had prepared a detailed project report on erecting metal sheets atop the 25-foot-high fences of the kraal (an area surrounded by a fence, in which animals are kept). 

According to him, the work on erecting metal sheets across the kraal will begin in a few days. There are a total of 17 such areas, spread across the 20-hectare rescue centre. Each kraal is spread over about half an acre and is shared by four carnivores. 

Prime importance will be given to four kraals housing leopards. The approximate cost of erecting metal sheets in each kraal is Rs five lakh, Santosh Kumar said.