Camera captures leopard movement

By TheHindu on 23 Nov 2016

Presence of adult male in the Vallam reserved forests in Chengalpattu confirmed two months after it was first sighted

A camera set up to track the movement of a leopard in the Vallam reserved forests in Chengalpattu range has recorded the movement of a well-grown adult male leopard.

K. Soundarapandian, district forest officer, Kancheepuram, said the picture was taken a few days ago. The animal was estimated to be nearly eight years old, he said.

“With the camera capturing the leopard, its presence and movement is confirmed. Though it has not strayed very close to human habitations, officials have cautioned those living on the forest fringes not to venture out after dark,” he said.

The authorities have set up traps in five places — Anjur, Thiruvadisulam, Thirukazhukundram, Arungal and Sadhanandhapuram. Live baits have been kept in the cages to lure the carnivore, he said. The cages had been kept in five different places as the animal kept moving, he said.

Forest officials received information of the sighting of a big cat on May 17. Then, on May 23, the animal killed a goat belonging to a farmer in Irukundrapalli village. Post-mortem of the carcass confirmed that the death was caused due to an attack by a carnivore. Following this, officials initially set up trap cages, brought from the Aanamalai and Mudumalai tiger reserves, in the Thirumani reserved forests.

Field staff stationed at the place where the leopard movement was recorded said the camera was set up inside the reserved forests. Human habitation is nearly a kilometre away from the spot where the sighting was reported. When the animal was sighted by humans, it was crossing from one side of the forest to other and not approaching the human settlements along the forest fringes, they added.

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