Sixth leopard caught in Tirumala, authorities mulling to build permanent fence to protect pilgrims

by IANS |

Amaravati, (Andhra Pradesh) Sep 20 (IANS) The forest authorities have captured the sixth leopard under “Operation Leopard” on Alipiri-Tirumala footpath which is a Hindu pilgrimage destination in Tirupati on Wednesday.

Tirupati witnesses one of the largest turnouts of Hindu pilgrims in the country.

Andhra Pradesh Forest Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy said that strict measures will be initiated to prevent wildlife attacks on pilgrims who climb hills amid dense forest.

He said that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and forest departments are considering building a permanent fence to protect the walkway. 

The sixth leopard was captured at the exact location where a minor girl was fatally attacked last month. The leopard was trapped in a cage at the Tirumala walkway route and will be moved to the Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park.

‘Operation Leopard’ was launched by the Forest Department in August month after pilgrims who trek spotted several leopards during the pilgrimage.

The authorities have set up 300 cameras at several locations to monitor the movement of leopards and to protect the pilgrims. This is the sixth leopard caught close to the pilgrimage centre in two months.

The leopards have been left at the reserve forests and one was taken to Visakhapatnam Zoological Park. The girl named Lakshitha had gone missing from the Narasimha Swamy temple while coming to Tirumala. Her dead body was found near Lakshminarasimha Swamy temple later.

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