TIRUPATI: Forest officials caught another leopard on Wednesday morning in Andhra Pradesh's Tirumala near the Narasimha Swamy temple taking the count to six, said officials.
The officials further informed that the leopard was captured at the same place where, Lakshitha, a minor girl, was killed in an attack by the wild beast last month.
"Another leopard was caught in the cage at Tirumala walkaway route," a forest official said, adding that the forest department is making arrangements to move the leopard to the Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park.
The forest department launched ‘Operation Leopard’, in August after several leopards were sighted on the walkway to the hilltop temples.
"The forest officials had set up 300 trap cameras at several locations in the forest to monitor the movement of the leopard and trapped the animal on Wednesday morning," they said.
On Monday, forest officials left one leopard in the reserve forest while another leopard who was caught at the Tirumala walkaway route last month was shifted to Visakhapatnam Zoological Park, as per officials
The forest officials had collected samples from leopard excreta and sent them for DNA testing to check whether they had killed the girl. However, the results found that the leopards were not involved in the killing of the girl, as per officials.
The girl, identified as Lakshitha, had gone missing near the Narasimha Swamy temple while coming to Tirumala on the Alipiri walkway and was found dead at Lakshminarasimhaswamy temple, the officials said last month
Andhra Pradesh Forest Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy had said that strict measures will be taken to prevent leopard attacks, adding that Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and Forest departments were mulling over setting up a fence on a permanent basis.