A leopard spotted on a main road on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Thursday may have headed towards Chilkur forest, forest department officials have said. After the animal was spotted beside the median of a Road Under Bridge (RUB) in Hyderabad's Mailardevpally area, a 24-hour search began, but the animal has yet to be traced. The leopard was last seen entering a private farm.
Officials were tracking the elusive leopard using both drones and police dogs on Friday but their efforts proved futile. The sniffer dogs were able to track the leopard with the help of scent from pug marks.
Forest department officials speculated that based on the pug marks, the leopard had possibly headed towards Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PTSAU), located opposite to the private farm where it was last spotted.
From the agricultural university, the leopard is suspected to have headed towards Gandipet and eventually to the Mrugavani National Park at Chilkur forest range, Sunitha M Bhahwat, the chief conservator of forests for Rangareddy district told the Times of India. Officials say that the leopard likely moved through the open farmlands in the university before making its way to the forest reserve.
Officials were using drone cameras and went through 26 CCTV footage videos to try and follow the wild catâ€™s movements. The leopard, which appeared to be injured or sick, was seen lying beside the median of a Road Under Bridge (RUB) at Mailardevpally area in the city. A rescue team composed of officials from the Nehru Zoological Park and forest department were soon deputed to trace the animal.
A man who attempted to approach the leopard was attacked and suffered minor injuries. He was shifted to a local hospital.
Another official was quoted in Deccan Chronicle as saying the leopard could possibly have strayed into the Katedan locality in search of food.