Hyderabad: A leopard has been spotted in the vicinity of Pragati Nagar in Kukatpally in the wee hours of Wednesday. Inhabitants of the colony even captured the image of the big cat near the rocky terrain located between Pragati Nagar and Gajularamaram forest area.
This has led to a panic among the residents, who have alerted wildlife officials, following which a team lead by Forest Range Officer Sridevi investigated the area and found no clues. “Not even pug marks, because the terrain is rocky,” said Deputy Conservator of forests A Shankaran, who is also the Officer on Special Duty for Wildlife in Greater Hyderabad.
The leopard might have come from Gajularamaram forest in search of prey. Although its presence has not yet been confirmed, we are deploying camera traps in the area to track its movement.
A team of Range Officers is also on a hunt. “The image captured by locals does not confirm the presence of a leopard. After all, we only have one image,” maintained the forest official adding “Rest assured, if there is any leopard, we will trace it soon.”
Historical Imagery feature on Google Maps in 2003 depicts the terrain as rocky, forested and dotted with lakes. “This forms an ideal habitat for leopards,” said Shankaran. The recent satellite maps produce tightly packed and disorganised concrete suburban blocks nestled near Gajularamaram forest area. The forest has got wiped out, most lakes have shrunk, some have disappeared and rocks have been converted into building blocks.
This is not the first incident of spotting a leopard. Earlier this year, another leopard was spotted on the ICRISAT Campus in Hyderabad, which was captured after four months of tracking it.
Authored by Mohammed Hussain