Published: 11th January 2019
Is there a leopard roaming around inside University of Hyderabad?
The forest department has decided not to take any chances and has set up camera traps as well. A pugmark was also discovered in the university near the Peacock Lake
After Kothapally around 50km from Hyderabad was under the grip of a confirmed presence of a leopard last week, a woman security guard in the University of Hyderabad has claimed that she saw a leopard in the university campus itself. Following the claim, university officials got in touch with Telangana Forest Department and on Thursday forest officials were sent to the university to look for pugmarks or any other signs that might confirm the presence of a leopard in the campus.
The forest department has decided not to take any chances and has set up camera traps as well. When contacted, A Shankaran, OSD (Wildlife) said, "The concerned officials from Shamshabad forest division have gone there along with officials from the anti-poaching division. We will set up camera traps in the university and try to capture an image of the animal if it exists." UoH Chief Security Officer informed the forest department that a woman security guard is confident of her claim that she indeed saw a leopard running in the campus.
A pugmark was also discovered in the university near the Peacock Lake but it has not been identified yet. As the university has various animals moving around, it could be of any of them. UoH spokesperson, Dr Vinod Pavarala said that the university plans to put out a notice asking individuals not to venture into lonely areas on the campus in the interest of their safety.
Is it possible for a leopard to sneak into the university campus?
It is not impossible. It may be recalled that recently in 2014 a leopard was caught in International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) campus which is located just 12 km from the university. Also, in 2004 a leopard had strayed in the city at Jubilee Hills. Moreover, the university has an abundance of prey for the leopard, like wild boar, spotted deer and even stray dogs.