On Tuesday night, fear enveloped the residents of Varthur area in Bengaluru after they heard that another leopard was prowling in and around a private school. However, senior officials confirmed that it was just a rumour.
"No leopard was seen or traced in and around the school by our forest staff after a night-long search operation though the school remains shut as a precaution," said Ravi Ralph, prinicipal chief conservator of forest and wildlife ward, Karnataka.
The people around the area also set a plantation on fire after they heard about the leopard.
Vibgyor International School in Bengaluru, where the leopard was allegedly spotted on Tuesday night, declared a holiday for its over 1,000 students and faculty members the next day.
"We decided to shut the school for the day (Wednesday). Those who turned up with their wards were advised to return home," a school official said.
Cartoon by BG Sreedhar
On early Sunday morning, an 8-year-old leopard had entered the school. More than three people were injured during the rescue operations that went on for 12 hours.
"We are launching an online platform to spread awareness on leopards and other animals who may enter villages, towns or cities stealthily but do not harm them as they are not man-eaters," Ralph said.
"With forest fringes, lakes and other water bodies disappearing for various reasons, wild animals are finding it difficult to hunt for prey and get water to sustain," Ralph said.
The leopard on Sunday was tranquilised and sent to Bannerghatta national zoo. According to Ralph, the leopard had entered the city through thick plantations beyond Varthur.