The Karnataka Forest Department on Thursday captured a leopard, which is believed to be behind the killing of an 11-year-old boy in Mysuru earlier this week.
The leopard, estimated to be around five-year-old, was captured from Horalahalli village in T Narasipura taluk on Thursday.
Leopard to be shifted to Bannerghatta
According to Forest officials, from the patterns on its body, the captured leopard appeared like the same animal that attacked and killed 11-year-old Jayant D on Saturday night.
Forest officials said that the leopard will be at Bannerghatta biological park in Bengaluru after identification.
The capture of the leopard comes as a great relief for the residents of Narasipura, who had been living in fear of the big cat.
Four leopard attacks since October
Since October 2022, there have been four leopard attacks in Narasipura, in which three women and an 11-year-old boy were killed.
The boy, identified as Jayanth, had gone missing from Horalahalli village of the taluk on Saturday evening. His mauled body was found about one kilometre away on the outskirts of the village amidst shrubs.
The first leopard attack happened on October 31, when a college student, Manjunath, was mauled to death by a big cat atop a Ukkalagere hillock in the region.
In December, the leopard struck again and another college student, Meghna, was killed while she was on the way to her family’s farm.
In December, a leopardess was captured in a trap cage from the area, but the attacks did not stop.
Just days before attacking Jayanth, the leopard had claimed its third victim – a woman named Siddamma on January 20.
Three leopards captured till now
Following the killing of Jayanth, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai announced that a special team will be constituted to capture the leopard.
“Locals are scared of continuous leopard attacks. A lot of leopards and cubs have settled in the area. Action must be taken to remove the animals from the district,” Ashwin Kumar, the MLA of T Narasipura assembly constituency, had demanded.
The Deputy Conservator of Forest informed that so far, three leopards and five cubs have been captured in January.
“Bounties have been placed for leopard capture. 158 officers and staff have been assigned to different teams for the operation. Teams are patrolling at night,” he said.
Increase in leopard menace in Karnataka
It is not just Mysuru: several parts of Karnataka have recently seen an unprecedented leopard menace, causing major disruption to everyday life.
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In recent times, leopards were spotted not only in residential settlements adjoining forest areas but the big cats prowl in the state capital Bengaluru and other major cities such as Mysuru and Belagavi.
Many leopards have turned into man-eaters, forcing the people to live in fear. In some places, leopard attacks on livestock have become a common phenomenon, leading forest authorities to be on their toes to tackle the situation.
Environmentalists say that the forests in the state have become a desert for wildlife, pushing leopards and elephants out in search of food.
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