Hyderabad: New cages fail to trap leopard

Hyderabad: A leopard has struck thrice over five days in the Kadthal Reserve Forest area and in its last strike on Wednesday night in Ekwaipally village, Kadthal Mandal, the leopard attacked a cow and killed it. The forest officials are yet to trap the leopard, which has attacked 14 times so far. The hypothesis pertaining to the number of leopards on the prowl is yet to be confirmed. The forest officials are additionally requesting to tranquilise the feline.

Amangal forest divisional officer (FDO) M. Janakiram said, “The leopard attacked the cow on Wednesday night and we found out about it on Thursday in the morning. We have installed three trap cages and have ordered for two more. The leopard, however, is too intelligent to be nabbed. Yet, we are trying our best. We haven’t disturbed its kill as we’re expecting it to visit again to feed on it.”

While talking about how the design of the cages has been improved to adapt to the situation, Mr M. Janakiram said, “We have also made changes in the design in the cages with the order from higher officials. Iron rods are usually placed between the bait in the cage and its hunter, in order to ensure the safety of the bait and to get the hunter trapped in the cage. However, this tactic is not working with the leopard. With suggestions from higher forest officials, we have redesigned cage traps and have placed transparent fiberglass instead of iron rods to create an illusion that there is nothing between the predator and its bait.”

He further added, “As the kills have increased, we have also requested to tranquilise the feline. It is mandatory to take permission from the Union ministry of environment and forest before capturing any wild animal from the forest.”

The predator in the Kadthal Reserve Forest area, which killed its prey on Friday last week, returned to the spot on the following the next night to feed on its kill and got itself photographed by the camera trap installed by the forest officials. The officials have also found its pug marks near the carcass of the prey. The officials have sent the pug marks for examination to confirm if they’re dealing with one leopard or more.

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