Anantapur: A leopard created panic among the residents of 11th Ward, Rayadurgam municipality in the district on Thursday after it ventured into the residential area. The wild cat prowled the residential area for a few hours after pig farmers tried to catch it in their net. Officials from the Forest department finally managed to cage the animal without harming it; two persons suffered minor injuries in the course of catching the animal.
Residents of Palace Road, 11th Municipal Ward had noticed the wild cat which was trying to hunt the pigs. The one-and-a-half-year-old male had padded down from a nearby hillock, about half-a-km from Palace Road. Pig farmers noticed the wild cat in some thorny bushes after it had killed their animals on Wednesday night. People later chased it up a tree. When the pig farmers tried to use a net, it again escaped out onto the road and hid in a thick bush.
Forest officials came and finally used a net to catch the animal. “We used no tranquillisers to cage the animal, which was a healthy one,” Anantapur DFO Shivakumar said. Locals who suspected that there was another leopard lurking in the nearby bushes found that this was not so, but people were told not to be out at night after 9 pm for a few days. Mr Shivakumar said that the cub population had increased in Anantapur district, with 24 having been identified in various forests.
Two leopards had also created havoc in Tirupati recently. A wild cat was killed closer to Kalyanadurgam municipality six months ago and two leopards entered close to Madakasira municipality four months ago.