Sunday September 10 2006 12:15 IST
KALPETTA: A female leopard, which became a threat to people in Thamarakolly near Meppady was caught by Forest officials on Friday night at around 10.30.
The big cat was freed in the interiors of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday morning.
Last month three persons were injured, one of them seriously, after they were attacked by the big cat in the area.
The trapped leopard was of five years of age and of good health, according to Kalpetta Forest range officer Andrews Chandy.
The Forest Department laid the trap, a specially made cage, on September 2, following request from local residents, and kept a round the clock vigil. Initially, a goat was tied in the cage as bait but it failed.
The Forest officials also tried different spots to lay the trap but with no success. Two days ago the officials replaced goat with dog and it met with success.
The captured animal was transported to Muthanga on directions from higher officials and freed at Maragadha, deep inside the forest at around 11 am South Wayanad DFO M S Rajan, P M Suresh, assistant wildlife warden Kurichiad, forester Sasikumar and veterinary surgeon Dr Anil Zechariah led the operations.
It is to be recalled that a black panther was also captured in the area earlier. The carcass of a leopard, which attacked many persons last month, was also found in the area under mysterious circumstances.
Forest officials suspect that at least five big cats are still roaming in the same region.