NIZAMABAD: Days after a few students had purportedly spotted a leopard on the Telangana University (TU) campus, Forest Department officials, who have been on the lookout for the big cat, said that the TU students "can’t tell a dog from a leopard."
The leopard was sighted near the boys’ hostel on the campus earlier this week. After a few students raised the alarm, TU authorities alerted the Forest Department.
The TU campus is spread across more than 500 acres. Over the last three days, the forest staff have been combing the area for pug marks and other clues. A leopard cage was set up on the campus with a dog inside it as bait. However, neither the leopard nor its traces have been found so far.
The futility of the exercise is driving the Forest Department to believe that the students had not, in fact, sighted a leopard. "Leopards usually prey on stray dogs. Have the students seen carcasses of dogs on the campus? If not, it is not possible that there is a leopard here," said the officials.
Meanwhile, TU authorities maintained that they had received multiple complaints about leopard movement on the campus. Cattle herders in the adjacent villages too had alerted them about the same. The Forest Department officials, as a result, are unable to wind up their search operation.
When contacted, Forest Divisional Officer (FDO) A Rama Kishan said that they would submit a report to the higher-ups in the department regarding the situation. "We will continue the searches in spite of the Sankranti holidays," he added.