Leopard’s presence triggers panic among Valparai residents

A leopard was caught on camera lifting a cat from a residential area in Valparai triggering panic among people on Wednesday.

The leopard, suspected to have ventured out of Nadumalai forest area had strayed into the Co-operative Colony in Valparai Town and lifted the cat from a house and took a stroll early on Wednesday. It then retreated into the forest area.

The family members, who returned home after a visit to their relative’s house for Pongal festival, found their cat missing and scanned through images recorded in the CCTV. Shockingly, they found a leopard preying on the cat.

Following the incident, Valparai Forest Ranger G Venkatesh said, a team of staff was deployed in the colony to maintain surveillance and prevent any conflicts. “This is only a stray incident of a leopard lifting a cat. So far, there were no issues of the big cat preying on dogs or cattle in the neighbourhood,” he said.

In another wild life related issue, the Forest department has warned tourists to be cautious, as a single tusker has been spotted wandering along Sethumadai- Top Slip Road. Though the elephant has not been involved in conflicts so far, the tourists have been advised not to disturb the animal by either making sounds or honking their vehicles, which may infuriate it.

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