Efforts intensified to trap leopards near Tirupati temple


Hyderabad : Forest officials Friday intensified their efforts to trap two leopards after devotees walking on the footpath to the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh spotted one of them.

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The devotees, trekking up the Tirumala hills to reach the famed temple, saw a wild cat and informed the forest officials, who swung into action to trap it.

The forest personnel had already launched efforts to catch the leopards that attacked two girls and injured them in two different incidents last week.

There was panic among devotees after some of them saw a wild cat moving in the area near Alipiri. The footpath was closed for the devotees and forest personnel moved in.

The Andhra Pradesh government has deployed assistant conservator of Srisailam-Nagarjunasagar tiger forest reserve K. Tulasi Rao to catch the leopards.

The official had assured the people that there was no need for panic as the leopards had not turned man-eaters.

Forest officials said the leopards moving in the area were three to four years old. The cats might have attacked the girls as they felt the girls were coming in the way of their hunt for deer in the nearby deer park.

The officials, who analysed the pug-marks, installed two infra-red cameras to capture the movement of the wild cats. They have also set up five well-camouflaged cage traps and thrown meat as bait.