Mysureans woke up to a news that went viral by sunrise that a leopard from the Chamundi Hill had strayed into a plantain godown near Uttanahalli, on the outskirts of the city, on Tuesday.
It created fear among the people from the neighbourhood, who had gathered near the godown out of curiosity, as it killed a dog even though two occupants of the godown and another dog managed to escape. It was shifted to the Chamundi Animal Conservation, Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at Koorgalli on Hunsur Road, after over four hours of operation since it was spotted.
It had sneaked into the godown through a narrow gap in the mesh wall of the generator room of the godown around 3 am, while Ramakrishna, father-in-law of the godown owner Raju, and Santhosh, a distant relative, were asleep inside. The godown is on the road towards Uttanahalli from the APMC yard at Bandipalya.
Forest officials said, the leopard is around 10 years old and it might have come in search of food. As soon as Ramakrishna and Santhosh woke up to the growls of the leopard, they rushed out and closed the door and also the narrow gap in the mesh. However, two dogs remained inside. The duo have alerted the Police and Forest department officials.
Even as the officials were planning to rescue the leopard, it attacked on of the dogs and savoured it. Another dog, which was frightened, somehow escaped through a small gap. The news of the leopard in the godown spread as passersby gathered at the spot. The crowd grew by the time the rescue operation was completed. However, the presence of the people hindered the rescue operation. The cage for shifting the leopard arrived by 7 am. Tranquiliser was administered on the leopard under the supervision of veterinarian Dr Nagaraj. Later, it was rolled in a net and bundled into the cage for transportation.
It has to be remembered that the spotting of leopards has become frequent in and around the city in the past fortnight. A couple of mobile videos of leopards on the roads near the Chamundi Hill had gone viral last week, while people had spotted a leopard inside a residential apartment in JP Nagar. Besides, following the spotting of a leopard on CCTV camera footage in the Mysuru Airport at Mandakalli, the Forest department personnel had conducted a combing operation in the airport. The officials have even placed a cage in the airport to trap wild animals in case they stray. The officials said, it in normal to spot leopards and other wild animals in and around the Chamundi Hill, as it is a reserve forest.