With rumours of two more leopards being spotted around the private school near Varthur in Bengaluru, the Education Department declared a holiday on Wednesday for at least 60 schools in the area as a precautionary measure, reported the Hindu.
All the schools in Varthur, Immadihalli, Doddakanelli and Maratha halli, east Bengaluru, will remain closed on Thursday.
Overall, 134 schools in Bengaluru have been asked to declare a holiday but the holiday does not apply for school staff.
The Vibgyor school administration declared an off on Wednesday too as a precautionary measure after big cats were spotted in the area late on Tuesday evening.
However, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ravi Ralf has said that no evidence has been found to site that there are more leopards in the area . Teams of forest officials have been combing the area for the last two days after locals claimed they had spotted two more leopards.
“The pug marks locals pointed us to do not belong to a leopard. The marks belong to a dog,” he said. Forest officials are, however, not taking things lightly. “The reason we have launched a massive search operation is because this is leopard country and there is every chance that there are more of them in the area,” he said, adding that dogs and other animals reared by people are attracting the big cats.
“I have confirmation of one leopard being spotted, but people residing in the area are saying they have spotted two in and around Vibgyor school,” a forest official said.
A surprise entry of an eight-year-old leopard into the school early on Sunday and its rescue after a 12-hour operation in which five people were injured has shocked people in Bengaluru.
“We are launching an online platform to spread awareness on leopards and other animals who may enter villages, towns or cities stealthily but do not harm them as they are not man-eaters like tigers,” said Karnataka chief wildlife warden Ravi Ralph.
“With forest fringes, lakes and other water bodies disappearing for various reasons, wild animals are finding it difficult to hunt for prey and get water to sustain,” said Ralph.
The leopard which was tranquilised and captured had strayed into the city’s eastern suburb on Sunday through bushes, boulders, hills and thick plantations across the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border in search of prey and water.
As it was a holiday, students and teachers were lucky to have escaped from being attacked by the wild animal.
The leopard was put in an iron cage and shifted to the Bannarghatta national zoo park.