Hyderabad: For over a month now, a panther, estimated to be five years old, is on the prowl at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics campus in Patancheru. Despite several attempts to cage the animal, the forest department is yet to capture it.
The Icrisat security staff sighted the wild animal in May, but the guard who spotted it was not sure as he was on patrolling duty and the visibility was poor in the night. But the next day, during patrolling, the staff spotted the animal and clicked pictures using their cellphones.
The forest officials identified it to be a panther. The forest staff handed over two cages and asked the security staff to set it at locations likely to be frequented by the panther. The cage set up is similar to that of a rattrap. A wooden board is placed and once the animal steps on it the door closes automatically. But to date, it has not been trapped.
A forest official who did not want to be named, said, “Since the Icrisat campus is large with plenty of food available, peafowls, porcupines, wild pigs and rabbits as well as a few small lakes, the animal has a lot of space to hide. So far, the panther has not caused any harm and seems to be a docile one. The Icrisat staff is on vigil. However, no forest staff is stationed at the campus.