Officials have nonetheless set up camera traps as a precaution.

No evidence of leopard on the prowl in Hyderabad say forest officialsImage For Representation
news Wildlife Friday, August 02, 2019 - 11:23

Late evening on Tuesday, residents of Jayashree Apartments who were out for a walk at Mithilanagar caught on video an animal perched on top of a rock. While the residents claimed that the image was that of a leopard, forest department officials have now said that there is no evidence of a leopard on the prowl in Hyderabad. Officials have nonetheless set up camera traps as a precaution.

Several regional news outlets reported throughout Wednesday that the sighting caught on video was that of a leopard. Some even went on to claim that the image was that of a Cheetah. The Forest Department scanned the area for paw marks but found nothing.

"The area is rocky and has thick vegetation and bushes. This area is outside the forest area, which is over 1 km away from where this picture was photographed," said A Shankaran, Deputy Conservator of Forests, OSD, Wildlife, who along with a team scanned the area on Wednesday.

The Bachupally Police under whose jurisdiction the supposed sighting of the animal was reported called the whole incident as "fake news". However, Shankaran said, "Right now there is no authentication that it is a leopard but I wouldn't call it fake news.”

“It's a very blurred image. It's in very failing light and hence we can’t conclude anything. Our people are on the job and are searching the area. They will put camera traps and any movement will be captured," he said.  

However, he added, “There are no cheetahs in India, they have been extinct since the 1950s."

The Bachupally police station was alerted by someone who supposedly heard a growl. "It’s fake news," said P Jagadeeshwar the station inspector. "The people who called were saying they heard a sound. The call came at night and we alerted the Forest Department officials and together scanned the area, but found nothing," he added.

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