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Valparai in jitters after leopard spotted in school
Students of a higher secondary school in Valparai are gripped in fear after they spotted a leopard lifting a goat from their school premises on Wednesday.
The incident has left the students in a state of shock as they fear that the animal may come once again in search of prey.
On Wednesday evening, a leopard jumped over the compound wall of the school to lift a goat that was grazing around the campus. As students shouted in panic, the animal retreated into the forest by dropping its prey.
School headmaster Sivanraj informed the Forest Department, who arrived and made futile attempts to trace the animal. The school is located near a sprawling tea estate, which has turned out to be a hideout for leopards straying out of Sirukundra forest area.
In the recent past, a leopard had tried to feast on the carcass of a wild boar by carrying it atop a tree on the school premises. It was confirmed with pug marks on tree barks.
“Five months ago, a leopard was moving around in the area. After the Forest Department removed bushes and stepped up vigil, they stopped coming so long,” said an official.
The Forest Department has deputed a team to keep a watch and to ensure the safety of students. The students have also been advised not to go near thickets. The Forest Department is also likely to fix camera traps to monitor the animal movement.