Released into Bannerghatta National Park yesterday night
Mysore/Mysuru: The leopard, which had killed Jayanth (11) at Horalahalli village in T. Narasipur taluk on Saturday (Jan. 21), has been trapped yesterday early morning in the cage installed by the Forest Department, thus giving a sigh of relief to the villagers.
Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Dr. Malathi Priya said that the Forest Department staff had installed camera traps near the spot where the body of Jayanth was found and the five-year-old leopard was camera-trapped at the spot on Wednesday.
The CCF further said that the same leopard has been trapped yesterday morning and rosette pattern (A rosette is a rose-like marking or formation found on the fur and skin of some animals, particularly cats.) of the trapped leopard matched the one which was camera-trapped and has been verified.
Forest Department authorities have suspected that this could be the same leopard that had also killed Siddamma at Kannayakanahalli a day earlier. But the Forest Department does not have any camera trap photos of the leopard at Kannayakanahalli. The suspicion is made based on the distance between Kannayakanahalli and Horalahalli villages, which is just 1.5 kms.
As soon as the news of the leopard getting trapped spread, villagers thronged the spot and surrounded the Forest Department staff. The villagers wanted the leopard to be killed on the spot, which resulted in argument between the Forest staff and villagers. Finally, the Forest staff managed to convince the villagers and shifted the leopard to Bannerghatta National Park in Bengaluru, where it was released yesterday night.
Meanwhile, the scat samples have been collected to be sent to Forensic Science Laboratory to ascertain scientifically whether the leopard had preyed on human beings. Though the leopard has been trapped, the Forest staff are continuing the monitoring as they are getting calls of leopards being spotted from the villagers.