BENGALURU: The forest department officials had a major challenge at hand on Wednesday morning. They got a distress call from a farmer in the early hours of Wednesday. The panicked farmer said that he sighted a leopard trapped in an open well in Adiga Estate near Keralalusandre village in Kanakapura.
The area is around 200 metres away from Bilikal state forest near Bannerghatta National Park.
“The male leopard was rescued with no injuries on its body. It is around three years old. The animal must have accidentally slipped into the water tank late the previous night and could not come out as the water level was low,” S N Hedge, deputy conservator of forests, Ramanagara, told The New Indian Express.
The forest officials kept nets and a ladder for the animal to come out, after which it was released into a conducive forest habitat.
Hegde said that a large number of leopard sightings and cases of leopards straying into human settlements are reported from Ramanagara and Tumakuru forest divisions. It is like they have become the zones of conflict, he added. These incidents are not just because of the shrinking forest cover but also because of the rise in leopard population. It has also been found that the number of cases are high in areas where farms abut forest boundaries and maintain no buffer zones.
From April 2019 to March 2020, in Ramanagara division alone, 18 leopards were rescued of which seven cases are from January-March 2020 alone. Between November and December, many cubs were sighted in agricultural fields and from March onwards, cases of juveniles or adults straying out were very common.