Hunt on for stray leopard spotted at Belagavi factory

Hunt on for stray leopard spotted at Belagavi factory

Leopard was reportedly sighted by locals at farm fields. File photo

The search for the stray leopard sighted in Hindalco Aluminium factory on the outskirts of Belagavi continues. However, the wildcat remains elusive.

Nearly 25 forest department staff and city police (with the support of locals) searched for the leopard on Friday afternoon. Interestingly, Forest officials have roped in pig catchers to trace the ferocious feline.

Pig catchers from Rukmani Nagar in the city, armed with nets, are searching the factory premises. A big part of the factory flanks the Kakati forest range. The leopard was sighted by morning walkers, but the search operations began nearly six hours later.

The leopard was caught on the CCTV camera installed by Syndicate Bank. The bank is located in the factory's residential colony. The bank staff called the jurisdictional Malmaruti police.

Assistant Conservator of Forests S Sangolli said, leopards usually rest during the day and hunt at night. They hide in big trees. Forest officials decided to lay a trap. A cage is being brought by the Forest staff of Khanapur range. 

Meanwhile, the factory's colony residents, have been asked to stay indoors. Public announcements were made using speakers. Residents have been asked not the move about alone; but in groups. They have been told not to let children outside. 

Wildlife warden Sachin Patil, Deputy Conservator of Forests Amarnath, and police officials, have camped at the factory.

It may be recalled, that a tiger had ventured into Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) campus in Belagavi, two years ago. The tiger was killed to protect human lives.