Forest officials have instructed the public not to panic

Leopard sighting in residential area in Kovai raises alarm bellsImage for representation / PTI
news Man-animal conflict Monday, August 15, 2016 - 10:19

In Kakkan colony in Kovai, the sight of a leopard and its two cubs near the residential area of the hill town of Valparai created panic in the area for a while on Saturday evening. However, there were no reports of any untoward incidents like attack on cattle or humans.

According to the New Indian Express, residents of Kakkan Colony spotted three leopards roaming near the river on Saturday around 5:30 pm and forest officials were subsequently informed.

Soon, a team of anti-depredation squad reached the spot and asked the public to move to safer locations. They also sounded the siren fixed in the forest department jeep. Subsequently, the animal moved inside the forest at Stanmore estate.

In an attempt to alley fear among the residents, officials of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) had deployed 10 members from the squad to chase away the animals, if it returns again on Sunday evening.

 “There has been no report of attacks on cattle or humans. We have instructed the public to protect their cattle and dogs by lodging them inside safe enclosures. If the leopard charges at us, it would first target our necks. We have been given gloves to protect our neck and hands,” the sources told NIE.

Forest officials have instructed the public not to panic.  At present, there were no plans to set up cages to trap the animal, since there has been no disturbances reported.

“We are also keeping a gun and would fire in the air to chase away the animal, in case it is necessary. So far, we have not used a gun to scare wild animals in Valparai, and have not faced any such emergency situation,” sources said. In June, fear gripped Mathampalayam village along the foothills of Western Ghats near Coimbatore after a leopard prowling in the residential areas started preying on cattle,” a forest official said.

Investigation on the case is ongoing, police officials confirmed.

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