VISAKHAPATNAM: Increasing incidence of wild animals (leopards and panthers) straying into Greater Visakha Municipal Corporation limits in the past few days has triggered panic among residents, especially in Prahladapuram and Simhagiri Colony in the city. Residents are not venturing out of their homes during evening hours.
On Monday, some residents at Prahladapuram identified a leopard moving about killing stray dogs in the area. Officials of the Forest Department identified the pug marks of the leopard. Indiscriminate destruction of wildlife habitats in the guise of faster development in the past one decade has forced big cats to move into human habitations in search of food, said officials.
They said the leopard reportedly sat near a tree for sometime and left the area after hunting a stray dog.
Officials said they recently arranged a cage at Simhagiri Colony to trap the animal but in vain. A cage will be set up at Prahladapuram to trap the leopard, they said.
Locals said stray dogs in the area have been barking incessantly for the past few days due to frequent straying of wild animals into residential areas. Forest officials set up two monitoring units at Simhachalam where they sighted some cubs recently but are yet to trap them.