Trekkers please beware: Leopard and fires ahead

With reports of recent forest fires and leopard sightings around the City hills, locals and seasoned trekkers are issuing caution before the summer trekking season begins

Ever since the lockdown was relaxed in May, trekking activities around the city have slowly resumed. However, with recent leopard sightings and forest fires, trekkers are being warned about making summer plans.

In the last few days, forest fires have been reported from Nandi hill ranges and Basadi Betta, two of the favourite trekking spots for Bengalureans. G Raj, a regular trekker said, “Recently, forest fires have been reported in Nandi hill ranges, especially at Horagina Betta, which is where many trekkers prefer to go. We had recently planned a trek to Horagina Betta but had to abort at the last minute, after being alerted of a forest fire. We then decided to go towards Nandi instead, and upon reaching we could see burnt trees along the path. Many instances of trekkers being caught in fires have been reported and so, we are requesting trekkers to be

extremely careful during the summer months.”


Basadi Betta is preferred by families, due to low elevation and moderate trek. Forest fires can be very tricky and fatal if one is not careful

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– T Rajesh, a regular trekker

On Thursday night, medicinal plants near Basadi Betta were engulfed in a forest fire. “Basadi Betta is preferred by families, due to low elevation and moderate trek. Forest fires can be very tricky and fatal if one is not careful,” said T Rajesh, a regular trekker.

After leopard sightings, camera traps were set up to photograph leopard movement on Begur Road

In Heggunda, another popular trekking spot, leopard sightings have been reported. Additionally, the locals of the area have also issued warnings to trekkers, aking them to stay away and not venture into unexplored areas.

Dev Balaji Setty, an expert trekker said, “Apart from the forest fire season coming up, trekker should also be mindful of wildlife in the area. Leopard sightings have been in news and one must avoid entering grasslands and campfires. During summers, there is a shortage of water and leopards are seen leaving their areas in search of water. To avoid human-animal conflict, one must be very careful.”


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Sagar Biswas

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