A hunt is on for a leopard that was spotted earlier this week on the campus of the Telangana University, located in the state's Nizamabad district, which left the students tense.
According to reports, the leopard was sighted near the boy's hostel and the MBA college by some students, who informed university authorities, who in turn alerted officials of the Forest Department.
The varsity's Registrar Naseem and Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ram Kishan are overseeing the search operations to trace and nab the leopard.
CCTV cameras have been set up on campus and Forest Department personnel combed the area on Saturday, but could not spot the animal. Semester exams were postponed and students have been advised not to venture out at night.
Speaking to reporters, several students said that they were scared to step out of their rooms since the animal was spotted on campus.
However, officials said that they were yet to get conclusive evidence to suggest that the leopard was on campus.
"We have not spotted pug marks or any of the other identifiers to suggest that there was a leopard. However, we will camp here through Saturday night and remain observant. The students who saw the leopard saw it from a distance of around 50 metres. We have spoken to them. We are now trying to gather evidence," an official of the Forest Department told the media.
"We have also set up camera traps," the official said, adding that security guards of the university had also been roped in for the search operations.
Leopards are frequently sighted in erstwhile Nizamabad district as the Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary, spread across 130 sq km over several districts including Medak and Nizamabad, is known for a wide variety of wildlife.
Leopards often enter villages close to the sanctuary to hunt cattle, while there have also been several accidents reported on national highway 44 in Nizamabad district, which have resulted in the deaths of the animals.