The Tirupattur District Forest Officer (DFO) has ordered the formation of a ten-member special team with guards, watchers, foresters and range officers, headed by Tirupattur Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) to trap an elusive leopard that has scared the residents of Samarishikuppam village near Pernambut.
Speaking to this reporter, DFO R Murugan said, “camera traps had been placed at strategic points inside the forest area” abutting Samarishikuppam, Bathalapalli, Karkur, Erukkampattu, Pallalakuppam and Rangampettai villages near Pernambut. “A special team is monitoring the situation round-the-clock and will act immediately,” Murugan said.
“A cage with a bait is also placed in the locality to trap the animal,” he said. Forest officials added that a live goat was also tethered nearby as a bait to attract the big cat. However, the leopard chose to stay away from the bait on Friday.
Stating that the animal would be caught within a day or two, Murugan added, “This could be the same animal that terrorised forest abutting villages in the Ambur and Vaniyambadi areas some months ago.” The animal could have crossed over to the Kaundanya forest sanctuary inside neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, officials averred.
It may be recalled that the animal charged and injured 6 persons near Vaniyambadi while the locals tried to go near the big cat that was hiding in a sugar cane grove.