The elusive leopard that was responsible for a slew of attacks on animals and humans around Rajendranagar near Hyderabad, was finally caught by forest officials on Sunday. It was captured in a cage that was specially arranged for this particular animal. Forest officials were on the lookout for the leopard for six months.
Forest officials opine that it is the same leopard that attacked a truck driver in Rajendranagar in May, based on camera trap photos. According to the officials, a leopard can travel at least a distance of 20 km a day.
The Forest Department arranged two cages to capture the leopard. The leopard walked into one of the trap cages set up by officials near the Water and Land Management Training Institute (WALAMTARI) area, behind the Rajendranagar Agricultural University, on Saturday evening. This was after they received complaints from local residents that two calves were attacked by a leopard.
"Soon after cages were set up in strategic locations, depending on the observations. Meanwhile, luckily the leopard was caught in one of the cages,” explained Shivaiah, Shamshabad Forest Divisional Officer, to The News Minute. Camera traps were also used to find out the pattern of the leopard; details such as whether it frequently came to the area to hunt, the time frame, etc were logged, added the official.
Two months ago, there was a similar attack on a calf by the leopard. Though cages for the leopard were set up then too, it escaped. It reappeared for the first time in two months, say forest officials.
After its rescue, the leopard was taken to the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad. It is estimated that animal might be six years old.
The leopard will first be observed by doctors at the zoo. Then, depending on its condition, it would be taken to a forest and released there. However, the location of its release is yet undecided.