There is a large connectivity of old plantations near Whitefield towards Sarjapur extending up to Anekal

Bengaluru leopard incident 3 charts tell you why some neighbourhoods are vulnerable
news Man-animal conflict Monday, February 08, 2016 - 18:18

Sunday’s incident in Whitefield area of Bengaluru, where a leopard entered a school, has sent shudders through many residents in peripheral areas of the city. 

Some people including wildlife conservationist Sanjay Gubbi, a TV camera person and a driver were injured before the leopard could be tranquilised and taken to the rescue centre of the Bannerghatta Biological Park.

Ravi Ralph, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Karnataka says that there is a lot of concern over the quality of buffer zones that have transformed into conflict zones.

“The leopards come from peripheral areas. Though not continuous, there is a large connectivity of old plantations near Whitefield towards Sarjapur extending up to Anekal in the outskirts of Bengaluru,”he said.

 About two decades ago, leopards were known to have roamed in Marathahalli and other areas that have recently become the IT hubs and developing residential layouts, he said.

Asked about other areas in Bengaluru that are vulnerable to big-cats entering the city, Ralph said, “Varthur, Kanakapura and Bannerghatta areas are a few to name as there are forest areas and plantations in this zone. There have been few incidents in the past in those areas.”

Though this is the first incident in 2016, a few areas in the city that are close to buffer zones have witnessed many such incidents in last few years. There were 5 incidents of leopards straying in between February 2014 and February 2015.

"There have been a number of incidents in the past where large-carnivores have entered the city, but we cannot really say that Bengaluru is vulnerable to big cats entering the city. This has taken place after almost a year, “he said.

Ralph said that wild cats, leopards in particular have the ability to hide behind bushes and this area have large acres of intermixed bushes.

 “They don’t lose their way as it has been reported by media rather they come in search of food as there is a decrease in prey population in the protected areas. They come in search of dogs and dogs are found near garbage dumps,” he said.

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