Leopard on prowl: Forest department now extends search to Perambalur

Suspecting the animal to have entered Perambalur, the search operation was extended to the district and a cage has been set up along River Chinnaru at Vayalapadi.
Forest officials setting up a cage at Vayalapadi village in Perambalur district, on Saturday
Forest officials setting up a cage at Vayalapadi village in Perambalur district, on SaturdayExpress

ARIYALUR/PERAMBALUR: Two days after a leopard was spotted in Ariyalur, the forest department on Saturday extended its search operation for the big cat to Perambalur district as well. After the leopard was spotted at Ponparappi in Ariyalur on Thursday, the big cat was caught by one of the CCTV cameras at the Sendurai government hospital, about 8 km away.

Suspecting the animal to have entered Perambalur, the search operation was extended to the district and a cage has been set up along River Chinnaru at Vayalapadi. Ariyalur District Forest Officer (DFO) Elangovan told TNIE that doubts linger over the leopard’s movement along the waterbody as “agricultural lands have been harvested”. “This makes the riverine safe for the leopard, to drink and take shelter," he said.

Pointing out the department’s surveys showing the leopard travelling 10 km a day, the DFO said, “Based on that, we have set up a new cage in Vayalapadi. Also, two of the cages already set up were not removed as there was no information about the leopard's movement for two days. It is also possible that the animal is lurking in Sendurai.”

"If this leopard crosses Vayalapadi, it is likely to move to Pachamalai in Perambalur district or divert to Cuddalore via Vellaru or to the Kalvarayans in Kallakurichi district,” he added.

On whether the leopard is the same as the one spotted in Mayiladuthurai, the DFO said that a DNA test has been performed using the samples of the leopard spotted there. “But so far no trace of that leopard has been found here. We are searching for its hair samples too to confirm whether it is the same leopard or a new one. A team of 50 forest officials from Ariyalur, Perambalur, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Pollachi districts are engaged in the search operation," he added.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com