VELLORE: A leopard allegedly mauled three goats along the fringe of the forest area in Samarishikuppam village along Pallalakuppam Reserve Forest (RF) in Ambur causing a scare among the villagers who had spotted the predator on a hillock on Saturday night.
This is the second such incident in the last two months in the district.
Selvakumar left his flock of goats near the hillock, on Saturday morning and returned home. When he went back to the place, he saw four of the goats missing. He found one of the four goats with bite marks on its neck, struggling for life, while three others were missing.
Sekar, a villager, along with others returned to the hillock area around 8 pm. “I saw a leopard sitting atop the hillock from a distance. Fearing for our safety, we rushed back,” said Sekar.
On Sunday, they found the remains of the carcasses of an adult goat in a bush and another one atop the hillock near the RF, said J Rajesh. “For the last few months, incidents of livestock going missing have increased. We are now sure that they were mauled and taken away by the leopard on prowl. The villagers are also petrified for their safety since the incident,” the youth added.
In October, four to five sheep were mauled by a leopard in Erukkampet village. The forest officials had set up a cage near the area to capture the predator, but their efforts went in vain. Confirming the presence of leopard in Pallalakuppam and Pernambut RFs, Ambur forest ranger R Raj Kumar said, “Though there is no physical evidence to confirm that it was a leopard, we cannot rule out the possibility. At the same time, we cannot rule out another possibility that the goats were hunted by wild dogs, which are ferocious and hunt in a pack.”