Mysore/Mysuru: In the last three years, 65 leopards have been captured/rescued in Mysuru district, including three in January 2023.
“We have implanted a microchip on the leopards that were caught last month after making a ‘V’ shape cut on its ear tip and have released them back into the wild. We are tracking their movements to ascertain if the felines have come back to haunt human habitats,” revealed Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Mysuru Circle Dr. K.N. Basavaraju (in pic.). At present, there are 20 cages under the disposal of the Forest Department and 30 more cages will be purchased, he added.
Mentioning that the Department was awaiting the forensic report of the recent killing of 11-year-old Jayanth in a suspected leopard attack in T. Narasipur, Basavaraju said that the DNA test will help ascertain whether there was any trace of human element in the leopard scat. We are awaiting confirmation from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Forensic Science Laboratory that the boy was killed by the leopard that was rescued. The DCF said that they are expecting a report in three to four days to confirm if that leopard killed the boy.
“In January, there were three incidents in which a pack of dogs killed a calf, ate cattle and killed eight livestock in Mysuru. At first, it was believed to be a leopard attack but later, an investigation ruled out a leopard attack. It is ‘unusual’ for leopards to attack humans,” he said and urged the public not to panic soon after an incident. Instead, he asked the people to alert the forest staff and wait to hear from them to ascertain whether it was a leopard or not.
The DCF also appealed for restraint in reporting conflicts and attributing every attack to leopards as it creates panic in society. “Social media is used to spread false reports and every livestock kill is attributed to leopards. But later it was discovered that some of the deaths were due to stray dog attacks,” he said.
On the presence of leopards in Mysuru urban, Basavaraju said that improper disposal of meat waste is a major issue and this attracted stray dogs on which the leopards tend to prey. “We will bring the issue to the notice of Mysuru City Corporation Commissioner G. Lakshmikantha Reddy on the unscientific disposal of meat and poultry waste,” he added.