A leopard was spotted in the early hours of Saturday in a parking lot of an apartment complex off Begur Road, sending residents into a state of alarm. Though the personnel from police
, fire, emergency services and forest were pressed into action, the wild cat has not been traced so far. By 8 pm, others claimed that they had spotted the big cat again.
After the morning’s incident, residents of the apartment complex, Prestige Song, were given an advisory to stay at home and step out only in case of an emergency. A helpdesk was also set up with a guard to escort those who want to go out.
A police official from the nearby Hulimavu station told Bangalore Mirror that they reached the spot along with the forest officials. The leopard was first spotted by a milkman as he was going into the apartments around 5:23 am. “The apartment complex is spread over 39 acres and is near the Hulimavu lake and a forest area. The compound wall is about seven feet tall and it is easy for anyone to jump in from the hillside but it’s difficult to go back. The forest officials informed us that the leopard might have come to this area around 20 times in the early hours but no one was aware about it until we verified the CCTV footage.
It hasn’t harmed anyone and was trying to return when the milkman noticed it,” said a police officer.
KR Puram range forest officer S Swamy said the leopard had entered the complex for a few minutes and then escaped. “We have noticed its pug marks there. We tried to trace it till noon. There are lake, bushes and empty land next to the apartment and we suspect the big cat could be in there. We have told the residents to be cautious especially for the next few days. We have asked people not to head out in the night alone. We will post our personnel to keep an eye. In case the leopard is spotted again, we will place a cage,” he said.
He said the leopard could have migrated in search of food and might be there to eat dogs or cats. “If the leopard has eaten some animal there are chances that it might return. However, as per our observation, there is no trace of that,” he said. Ajay Kumar Agarwal, a resident of the apartment, told Mirror, “The security personnel alerted us around 7.30 am and we could see in the CCTV footage that the leopard was roaming around B1 and B2 parking. Since the news became viral, people stopped coming out of their homes. More than 550 houses are occupied in the complex.”
A message from SRS Raj Serenity apartment sent on Saturday night was: “As per the latest update, there were two leopards in Prestige Song of South campus. There is also unconfirmed news that one has jumped out of the campus. Police and forest officers are combing the area. We strongly suggest residents take adequate precautions.” Meanwhile, a message by Prestige apartment association stated, “Please do not come into the open podium and basements until we update again. Forest range officers and police force and staff are combing the entire property.”