Combing to track elusive leopard at Brindavan Gardens begins
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Combing to track elusive leopard at Brindavan Gardens begins

October 23, 2022
  • People from nearby hotel asked not to venture out
  • Decision on opening Gardens only after assessment

Srirangapatna: The Forest Department has begun combing operations to trap the elusive leopard that was spotted in the Brindavan Gardens yesterday. Over 15 to 18 personnel from Mandya and Pandavapura Forest wings are combing the vast area and the operation started last evening.

A leopard was spotted at Brindavan Gardens forcing the authorities of Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Limited (CNNL) to order the closure of the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam to the tourists, considering their safety.

The leopard was found sauntering along the wall of the Dam at 12 noon by a few workers who were working in the Brindavan Gardens. One of the workers hid himself amid bushes and he saw the feline springing onto the nearby steps of the Visvesvaraya Canal.

The leopard entered the Gardens where it camouflaged itself in the vegetation before making a run behind the Royal Orchid Metropole Hotel. The workers later alerted the CNNL authorities and the Karnataka State Industrial Security Force (KISF) and the Brindavan Gardens was declared closed for an indefinite period. Even some tourists sighted the big cat. Forest officials were alerted and they traced the pug marks of the leopard on the premises. Hundreds of tourists had thronged the KRS Dam yesterday due to the extended weekend and holidays early next week in view of Deepavali celebrations. However, all were sent back and the gates were locked.

The combing operation began last evening and it continued this morning by a couple of teams.

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Range Forest Officer (RFO) Anita told Star of Mysore that since there was no sighting of the leopard’s movement, they have decided to place a cage with bait hoping that the leopard will be trapped.

Last evening, a movement was spotted by the KISF men and the CCTV footage has been handed over to the Forest Department. But as the CCTV visuals are not clear, the Department has ruled out any sort of movement. “Visuals are hazy and we are not sure if it is a leopard or a dog. We are continuing the combing operations and apart from surveying the area in vehicles, we are also searching for the feline’s clues on foot,” she added.

Forest Department staff combing the area around the Brindavan Gardens this morning.

People and guests inside the Royal Orchid Metropole Hotel have been asked not to venture out. “Leopards are shy animals and will not stay in one place for long. However, we are continuing the search as this is a tourist place and a sensitive location,” the RFO added.

A decision on opening the Brindavan Gardens and the Dam will be taken only after assessment and discussion with the CNNL authorities.

“Yesterday as soon as the leopard was spotted, we asked tourists to leave the place immediately while the ticket counters were closed. We cannot take risk with so many tourists and children around and any hasty decision will not be taken,” an officer said.

“A decision to reopen the gardens will be taken only today evening or tomorrow provided there are no indications of leopard movement. Till then, the uncertainty will continue,” he added.

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Incidentally, this is the second time that a leopard has been spotted at the KRS Dam since the last few months. Last time, a cage was placed to trap it but the feline remained elusive.

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