NUAPADA: Two leopards were spotted by locals in Musurangi proposed Reserve Forest (RF) near Musurangi village under Amanara panchayat of Nuapada block almost two years after one was trapped by forest officials from a nearby village for mauling a four-year-old boy.
Pictures captured by a villager of the leopard pair moving on the top of a large rock in the RF went viral on social media on Tuesday. While wildlife lovers were enthused by appearance of the cats, villagers appeared anxious. However, no movement of the leopards was seen on Thursday.
After getting information, forest officials, led by Khariar Divisional Forest Officer (Territorial), Khuswant Singh reached the village on Thursday, interacted with the villagers and gathered information about the movement of the big cats.
Forest Range Officer, Nuapada, Asit Kumar Dash said following interaction with villagers, it is believed that they might have strayed into Musurangi PRF from Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located at a distance of eight kilometres from the village.
Meanwhile, the forest officials undertook an awareness exercise and educated villagers on how to protect themselves from the wild animals. The forest officials are vigilant, Dash added. In May 2017, a four-year-old boy was mauled by a leopard in Haldi village under Dumerpani panchayat of Nuapada block, about eight kms from Musurangi. The leopard, which had killed the four-year-old boy, was trapped by forest officials on July 15, 2017.