Leopard at KRS Dam: Brindavan Gardens shut for visitors today
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Leopard at KRS Dam: Brindavan Gardens shut for visitors today

October 29, 2022

Feline appears as Forest personnel flash torchlight

Srirangapatna: A week after a leopard was spotted sauntering along the wall of the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam, the feline was spotted again last evening. It was seen for the second time at 10 pm when the Forest Department staff beamed bright torchlights at the bushes.

As the leopard was still on the prowl, the Dam will remain closed for tourists today and a decision will be taken only after a meeting with the Forest Department, said Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited  (CNNL) authorities.

The leopard was first spotted at around 6 pm yesterday on the Brindavan Road near the North Gate. Last week, it was seen at the Brindavan Gardens amid bushes and later it sprang onto the nearby steps of the Visvesvaraya Canal.

Last evening, the leopard was first observed by Karnataka Industrial Security Force (KISF) officer Santhosh. He saw the animal and later cross-checked with the CCTV visuals at the office and the feline was spotted moving towards the North Gate link road from the horticulture section.

Santhosh immediately alerted the authorities from the CNNL who switched off the lights and vacated the tourists from the Garden and from the approach roads. The Forest Department was alerted and a team visited the North Gate at 10 pm.

As the KISF personnel were showing the spot where the leopard appeared to the Forest staff, torchlights were flashed at the bushes.

Suddenly to the shock of the staff, the feline appeared from the bushes. It came onto the road and growled at humans. Taken aback, the Forest staff and the Karnataka Industrial Security Force (KISF) personnel ran towards their jeeps for safety.

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No CCTV cameras

After a few moments, the leopard vanished into darkness. The absence of CCTV cameras at vantage points is a drawback and even the existing cameras are in a non-working state.

Soon after the leopard was sighted, the Forest staff decided to place a cage with bait on the Brindavan Road surrounding the area from where it suddenly appeared. As the section belongs to Pandavapura Division, they will have to place the cage.

When the leopard was spotted last week, the Dam was declared out of bounds for the tourists and the Forest staff had conducted multiple combing operations and even had placed a cage with bait to lure the leopard. As the animal was not sighted, the Dam was opened to the tourists at 2 pm last Sunday.

However, this decision to open the Dam in a hurried manner last week came in for intense public criticism as the Dam was opened even before the feline was driven out of the premises. If adequate precautions were taken, the leopard would not have come to the Dam for the second time, said a few tourists.

As the tourists were sent out from the Brindavan Gardens even before all the lights were switched on yesterday, many of them demanded a refund of their tickets. But CNNL officers and staff denied a refund and this led to heated arguments between the tourists and the people who were manning the ticket counters.

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