Forest officials recorded the movement of a second leopard in Vandalur reserve forest in Karanai Puducherry village near Urappakkam, Kancheepuram district, last Saturday. The department officials said a spotted deer was found dead on Sunday morning. When the carcass was sent for post-mortem, it was established the animal had died due to an attack by a carnivore, estimated to have occurred around midnight. Meanwhile, the camera trap set up in Anjur reserve forest near Chengalpattu recorded the movement of a leopard around 2.30 a.m. on Sunday.
Officials said the distance between Anjur reserve forest and Vandalur reserve forest would be nearly 40 km and it would be nearly impossible for a carnivore to cover the distance in a couple of hours. Hence, they came to the conclusion that a second leopard was on the prowl in Vandalur reserve forest. Sridevi Raju, a resident of Karanai Puducherry, said that on Wednesday, around 9 p.m., she heard the growling of a leopard, but did not sight the animal. A few days ago, the leopard was spotted in a moat inside the reserve forest, she said. With the confirmation of leopard movement, officials have placed a trap cage inside Vandalur reserve forest. A camera trap too has been set up 200 metres away from the cage. The camera trap has, so far, recorded the movement of spotted deer, wild boar and a few dogs that have strayed into the reserve forest in search of food.
Officials have advised those living near the reserve forest not to venture into the forest after dark and to keep lights switched on through the nights. They have also been asked to keep their pets safely inside their homes. Mobile numbers of forest officials have been provided to the residents so they can inform them immediately in case they encounter the animal, officials added.