After leopard scare, Karnataka govt to set up rapid response task force for Bengaluru city


PTI, Nov 6, 2023, 2:38 PM IST

Karnataka Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre has directed his department to create a separate dedicated rapid response leopard task force for Bengaluru city, days after an elusive big cat that was wandering in a residential area here was shot dead during its capture.

Some wild animals are straying from forests in search of food due to inadequate rainfall this year, he said. Leopards are being sighted on the outskirts of Bengaluru, especially localities in hilly areas and those close to the periphery of forests, and people are worried over this, he added. The minister instructed the forest department to immediately form a rapid response leopard task force in Bengaluru, and capture wild animals that stray into the city, and later send them to the forests or to rehabilitation centres.

In addition to the existing five elephant rapid task forces, two additional ones — one each at Bannerghatta and Ramanagara — have been formed, he said. Similarly, in hilly areas of the state which is the habitat of leopards and bears, at least one task force should be formed for every three districts and they should be provided with advanced equipment, Khandre added. The minister instructed that the personnel of the Leopard task force should be properly trained and that mock drills should be conducted to check their readiness and equip them. Last week, the foresters shot dead the leopard that had scared residents of AECS Layout and Kudlu Gate near Singasandra. After three days of intense search operations, forest department officials tracked the big cat to Kudlu Gate near Electronic City. They had set a cage and tried to tranquilise and trap the the animal but when their efforts failed, they shot it down. Meanwhile, another leopard was reportedly sighted in Chikkathogur, off NICE (Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises) road by some local residents.

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