Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) confirms Leopard killed the girl.
In a heart-wrenching incident, Tirupati’s Wildlife Management Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), P. Nageswara Rao, has confirmed that a leopard was responsible for the unfortunate demise of a six-year-old girl named Lakshita on August 12. This revelation puts to rest the earlier speculation that a sloth bear might have been the cause of her tragic death.
To address this alarming situation, forest authorities have taken swift action by capturing two leopards. They strategically placed cages along the Alipiri-Tirumala pathway, a common route used by trekkers and pilgrims. Despite capturing the leopards, authorities are working diligently to determine which of the two was involved in the fatal attack on Lakshita.
Speaking at a press conference, CCF Nageswara Rao shared that a post-mortem examination had definitively confirmed the leopard’s role in the heartbreaking incident. He mentioned that while the autopsy provided conclusive evidence of the leopard attack, they were awaiting laboratory reports to ascertain which of the captured leopards was responsible for the tragedy.
Amid concerns about potential encounters with wild animals along the popular trekking routes of Tirumala, the CCF assured the public that significant measures were being taken to ensure safety. A remarkable step in this direction was the installation of approximately 400 trap cameras along the pedestrian routes leading to Tirumala. These cameras serve the purpose of closely monitoring the movements of leopards and sloth bears. Just recently, forest officials detected the presence of a leopard and a sloth bear in the early hours of a Wednesday along the Tirumala route.
In response, the forest department promptly organized an operation involving about 100 personnel with the objective of capturing these potentially dangerous animals. Despite their efforts, both the leopard and the sloth bear narrowly managed to escape. The forest staff attempted to tranquilize the bear, but unfortunately, it managed to evade their efforts. Undeterred, the authorities remain committed to continuing their mission to capture these two animals, ensuring the safety of trekkers and pilgrims.
CCF Nageswara Rao took the opportunity to reassure devotees, urging them not to panic. He advised everyone to adhere to the safety guidelines issued by both the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) and the forest department while utilizing the Tirumala walkways. By following these guidelines, pilgrims and trekkers can minimize the risks associated with encounters with wild animals and ensure their own safety.
In conclusion, the tragic incident involving the leopard attack on young Lakshita has spurred Tirupati’s forest authorities into swift action. Their dedication is evident through the strategic placement of trap cameras and the ongoing efforts to capture the responsible leopard. While the incident has cast a shadow of concern over trekking routes, the forest department’s commitment to safety and the CCF’s reassurances underscore the importance of adhering to safety guidelines. As pilgrims and trekkers continue their journeys, the collective efforts of authorities aim to provide a safer environment for all.