Leopard scare near city after 3 calves found dead
CHENNAI: Villagers of Thenmelpakkam village near Chengalpattu on Monday woke up to something unsual in thier locality. Three calves were found dead in a mysterious condition with a few kilos of meat missing from the carcass. The villagers are now pondering over a smilar event in 2014 where a powling leopard was recorded by the foresters.
The Chengalpattu foresters who visited the spot confirmed that the calves were attacked and killed by a mysterious wild animal but said it is too early to confirm the animal as leopard. Two days ago, Prakash of Thenmelpakkam village found a calf tied in the hut outside the house lying dead. He found the calf and it was attacked badly by an unidentified animal. Later on Monday in the same village, two calves tied outside the house were found dead with injuries.
The villagers were afraid that the calves might have been attacked by leopard. Earlier in 2014, after receiving complaints from the villagers, the forest department placed night vision cameras and spotted a leopard roaming near the NH in the village and it entered to drink water. Later the forest officials tried to catch the elusive feline through cages but the attempt failed.
“It is a predator, but whether it is a leopard or any other carnivore like jackal or wild dog can be confirmed only with further investigations,” a senior forest official told DT Next. North TN with fringes of reserve forests has recorded movement of leopards. Further these areas have prey base for large carnivores like spotted deer and wild boar. There are possiblity for the leopards to get attracted due to prey base, the official explained.
Now the villagers are afraid that the big cat has again started to take a prowl through the village at midnight. The Chengalpattu forest department visited the spot and held inquiries and after examining the body of the calf they confirmed that it was attacked by a dangerous wild animal and around 750 grams of flesh was eaten by the animal after killing the calf. The forest officials said they would set up cameras in the village and forest area to identify the animal and requested the villagers to avoid walking after sun set.
“Leopards are smart than the Tigers and they can migrate for more than 200 kilometres in search of prey. In North India there have been cases of Leopards crossing highways, railway tracks and cities,” opined conservation scientist K Brinda, Biodiversity Conservation Foundation. Further when a new carnivore makes an extended territtory, the aged wild cats start prowling into new areas.