For the last several days, leopards continued to scare in and around Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary and Dharam Bandha panchayat in Nuapada district.
A day after the forest department caught a leopard which triggered panic by remaining atop a house at Kodapali under Dharam Bandha section on Saturday night, another leopard was sighted moving in the same area on Sunday.
As per reports, local residents of Kodapali in Dharam Bandha panchayat have been spending sleepless nights since a big cat reportedly killed a minor boy and a woman, apart from making an attempt to kill a minor boy in Dharam Bandha area under the Sadar range in the district. The sighting of another leopard has added to their worries. The forest department has been apprised of the big cat.
Speaking to the media, the owner of the house where the big cat was spotted atop said, "All the people in the village were panic-stricken. Anger was brewing among people to kill the leopard. All people came together at night and surrounded the house for several hours. Later the forest department was informed about the big cat.”
With the help of local people, forest staff managed to drive out the animal from the housetop into a room before catching it in a cage, he added. The forest department officials shifted the caged animal to Sadar range office at around 1 am Saturday.
A woman of the village said, “We all were in horror after spotting the animal on the housetop. All our family members were led out of the house safely and the leopard was caged hours later by the forest department.”
Amid the ongoing 'leopard horror' in Dharam Bandha panchayat, a woman of Kodapali village demanded that the forest department should set up a boundary wall or wired fencing around the village to ward off the marauding leopards. There is a need for lighting in the village. If the leopards continue to trigger panic, people will not move out for farming or daily work, she noted. She also demanded medical assistance for the child injured by the leopard.
Khariar DFO Sushil Kumar Tripathy said that the captured leopard is safe and the deputy director of the veterinary has checked its health. The food chart for the leopard has been prepared and it will be served accordingly, he added.
Sunabeda DFO Mhadev Budek, said that as the village is in the core and buffer zones, leopards keep coming to the village. And patrolling has been intensified, he added.