Entry ban at Vadagal Ranganathaswamy Temple in B. Bettahalli from 5.30 pm to 9 am
Mysore/Mysuru: Five months after thousands of villagers of T. Narasipur taluk heaved a sigh of relief as foresters trapped the elusive leopard which was responsible for recurring attacks where a couple of young individuals were killed in the region, there has been a leopard sighting again now in the village of B. Bettahalli.
Consequently, the Forest Department has banned public entry to the famed Vadagal Ranganathaswamy Temple at B. Bettahalli limits from 5.30 pm to 9 am. Leopards are nocturnal hunters and the Department has taken the decision following CCTV visuals establishing the presence of the feline at the Temple and in the surrounding areas.
The Department has asked the priests to close the doors of the temple at the stipulated time so that people can leave the premises before 5.30 pm. Even the traders and small-time vendors have been asked to leave the Temple premises early so that they reach homes by 6 pm.
Loudspeakers are being used to air the messages to the villagers who are being asked not to use the steps to reach the Temple as both sides of the steps are covered with bushes and is an ideal place for a leopard to hide and attack. Even during the day, devotees have been asked to climb the steps in groups instead of going individually.
The leopard was spotted on the night of May 17 and the visuals have been captured in the CCTV cameras installed around the Temple premises. Following the sighting, the Temple management informed the Forest Department on May 30 and soon, a team of officers and staff visited the Temple and combed the nearby areas to gather clues like pug marks and scat.
As enough evidence has been gathered on the presence of the feline, the Forest Department issued the warning.
Officers said that the Department does not want the incidents of the past — where people venturing out of their houses were killed — to repeat. “We are ready with the Leopard Task Force to safeguard the lives of people. Residents have been asked to report the leopard sightings to 94819-96026,” a note from the Forest Department said.