Close on the heels of incidents of elephants venturing into human settlements on the outskirts of Bengaluru, a farmer in Doddaballapura, about 20kms from Bengaluru International Airport, received an unwelcome Christmas visitor when a leopard strayed near his house early on Sunday.

 

 

Naganna, a resident of Karepura village, had tied his cattle in two separate sheds and also covered his poultry in another shed and went to bed on Saturday night. He woke up around 3 AM on Sunday, hearing sounds from his livestock. “I peeped through the window and was shocked to see a leopard, which was all set to move into a shed to take away my cattle,” Naganna recounted.

 

 

Naganna asked his family members to come out of the house once the leopard moved into the shed and he locked the door and windows of the shed. Fortunately, this particular shed was empty as the animals and birds were kept in the adjacent sheds. The family immediately informed the authorities and personnel of the police and Forest Department arrived to trap the animal and took it away in a cage.

 

 

According to villagers, this is the third incident of leopards entering villages in Doddaballapura this year and there are number of leopards in the adjoining Hulkundi Hill area. Earlier in the year, the Forest Department, following complaints of local residents, caught two leopards in Madeswara and Ganibanahalli villages. At the start of this year, a leopard had entered a school in Bengaluru, creating a media flutter. The school security guard had detected the animal on CCTV footage; the animal was tranquilized before being shifted to a zoo.

 

 

Noted environmentalist Yellappa Reddy said the trend of animals entering into human settlements is related to the cutting down of trees and encroachment of the green cover for urbanization.