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Fear grips Valparai residents due to frequent leopard sighting
An evasive leopard which keeps intruding into residential areas has struck fear among the people in Valparai for the past few weeks.
Despite efforts taken by the Forest Department to capture it, the evasive leopard is sighted frequently in residential areas.
The animal keep straying into tea estates located abutting the forest cover to enter into areas like Vazhaithottam, Kakkan Colony, Tiruvalluvar Nagar, MGR Nagar, Co-operative Colony and Kamaraj Nagar to prowl on cattle.
On March 15, a leopard mauled to death a calf and attacked its mother cow at Tiruvalluvar Nagar. A few days later on March 18, a boy playing at Sholayar Estate was injured in a leopard attack. As the issue triggered an outrage, the Forest Department placed cages in two nearby spots to capture the animal.
Again, the Forest Department placed another cage at Vazhaithottam area on April 13, a day after the carnivore was found walking through a residential area during midnight. The very next day, the leopard was caught on CCTV crossing the MGR Nagar Road and going through a Primary Health Centre (PHC) on April 14 at 9.15 pm.
Again, last Thursday, the leopard was found resting on a compound wall near Government Women’s Hostel at Anna Nagar in the night.
With no solution at sight, the people have urged the Forest Department to form a special team and study the reason behind such spike in incidents of leopard intrusions.
“The Forest Department should identify whether leopards were attracted towards poultry waste dumped in the open, or if there are any other reasons. Besides capturing and relocating the problematic animals, the Forest Department should also take up some scientific study to bring down such incidents,” said S Nagarathinam, a farmer from Vazhaithottam.