Bengaluru, Feb 10 (IANS) Fears of another leopard prowling in and around a private school on Tuesday night were unfounded and its so-called sighting was a speculation, a top official said on Wednesday.
“No leopard was seen or traced in and around the school by our forest staff after a night-long search operation though the school remains shut as a precaution,” Karnataka chief wildlife warden Ravi Ralph told IANS here.
As rumours of another leopard sighting spread causing panic, the Vibgyor International School declared a holiday for its over 1,000 students and faculty members to ensure their safety.
“We decided to shut the school for the day (Wednesday). Those who turned up with their wards were advised to return home,” a school official told reporters.
A surprise entry of an eight-year-old leopard into the school early on Sunday and its rescue after a 12-hour operation in which five people were injured has shocked people in Bengaluru.
“We are launching an online platform to spread awareness on leopards and other animals who may enter villages, towns or cities stealthily but do not harm them as they are not man-eaters like tigers,” Ralph said.
“With forest fringes, lakes and other water bodies disappearing for various reasons, wild animals are finding it difficult to hunt for prey and get water to sustain,” Ralph said.
The leopard which was tranquilised and captured had strayed into the city’s eastern suburb on Sunday through bushes, boulders, hills and thick plantations across the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border in search of prey and water.
As it was a holiday, students and teachers were lucky to have escaped from being attacked by the wild animal.
The leopard was put in an iron cage and shifted to the Bannarghatta national zoo park.