TIRUPATI: It was a close shave for a three-year-old boy who escaped from the claws of death with minor injuries after he was attacked by a leopard on the Tirumala ghat road on Thursday. Police said, the victim, who hails from Kurnool’s Adoni, had come to Tirupati with his family.
The boy and his grandfather had halted near the Anjaneya Statue on the Alipiri pedestrian path to buy a packet of chips when the leopard appeared from nowhere. It grabbed the boy by his neck and fled into the forest. The boy’s grandfather raised an alarm, following which, the police chased the wild cat and rescued the boy.“While the duo were walking on the pedestrian path, the leopard attacked from the right side,” TTD executive officer AV Dharma Reddy said.
“It dragged the boy by his neck and fled into the forest area. Fortunately, a five-member police team led by sub-inspector of police, Ramesh, was nearby. The cops heard the elderly man’s cry for help and rescued the child. The boy suffered injuries on his head and neck,’’ he said.
“The cops armed with sticks chased the leopard with the help of their cellphone lights. The leopard left the boy near the Repeater in the forest area and fled the spot,’’ Dharma Reddy stated.A vigilance department staff posted at the Repeater heard the minor crying and and alerted the TTD administration.
“An ambulance was rushed to the spot. The boy was shifted to Sri Padmavathi Childrens hospital in Tirupati,’’ TTD EO elaborated. A team of doctors, including neurosurgeons and neurologists from Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS), reached the hospital as they too were alerted, he added.
Meanwhile, the shocking incident has once again put the spotlight on the safety of pilgrims on the Tirumala ghat road. “We will ask the forest department officials to take stock of the situation and give their opinion on allowing devotees to trek during the night time,’’ Dharma Reddy said. The EO further assured that additional vigilance guards would be posted at the spot.