19 Apr 2009, 0113 hrs IST, TNN
This is the second leopards to be captured in Tumkur district in the past two months. And, wildlife experts are puzzled at the incident as Tumkur is not a habitat for the big cat.
Tumkur district is surrounded by bushy forests. Parts of Tumkur like Chikkanyakanahalli, Sira, Kunigal and Tiptur taluks are declared as protected forest area. Peacocks, deer, forest dogs, foxes and other wild animals are found here.
The pugmarks of leopards were found in Devarayanadurga forest in 2001. Experts urged the forest department to do a census of leopards in the district. But the department has yet to act on the suggestion.
Sanjay Gubbi, a member of the state wildlife department, told TOI that Tumkur has thick forests which suits leopards. "There is ample food in these forests for the big cats," he adds, explaining the frequent spotting of the leopard in these parts. "At least now the government will sit up and take note," he hopes.
It's a day that Seenappa will not forget in a long, long time and will probably relish narrating to his grandchildren. On Saturday morning, a spotted visitor lay in wait for Seenappa, the security guard of the MBA building in the Siddhartha Institute of Technology in Tumkur.
When Seenappa entered the first floor of the building he spotted his guest__ a leopard. An alert Seenappa immediately closed the entrance of the first floor, a glass door. He then alerted the other securitymen of the college, only to be scoffed at. When it was confirmed that a leopard had, indeed, entered the campus, the cops were called in. The police alerted the experts at the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bangalore.
The college declared a holiday fearing further chaos. Around 10 am, wildlife experts, Basavarajappa and his team, reached the campus. By this time, the bewildered leopard had broken the glass door and jumped onto the first floor of the building, which was the courtyard of the MBA building.
The big cat attacked the SP and his team. The SP sustained injuries in the attack and was shifted to a hospital. The leopard then ran out of the campus and hid in the bushes outside.
Around 2.30 pm Basavarajappa managed to tranquilize the leopard. It was put in a cage and released in the Boranakanivae forest nearby.
The SP has announced a prize for his team that helped in capturing the leopard.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org