COIMBATORE: Residents of Iriyapuram near Thalavadi in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday after a leopard, which allegedly preyed upon a few cattle, was captured by
Based on farmers request, S Ramasubramanian conservator of forest, Coimbatore Circle, who is also the Field Director in-charge of STR, had directed deputy director of Hasnur forest division Devendra Kumar Meena to capture the big cat. Chief wildlife warden Syed Muzammil Abbas too gave the green signal to capture the animal alive and release it in the wild.
High drama marked the big cat's capture. On Thursday, the five-year-old leopard walked into the cage, but escaped when being shifted to a larger cage and took shelter at a nearby abandoned quarry when the team started the process to shift the animal to a new cage at 12.30 pm. Despite warned by the forest department, hundreds of people gathered to see the operation. Fortunately, the animal did not hurt anyone. Within 20 minutes, veterinarian Sadhasivam tranquilised it.
"The cage was old and weak, which helped the animal escape. We recaptured it without hurting the animal within 20 minutes and put him in a new cage. We have also checked the animal's health and found that there are no external injuries," Meena said.
Further, he said the animal was released in Mangalapatti forest which is far away from any residential area, and the availability of prey is good.