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The Hindu – Vijayawada

People of half a dozen hamlets in Kurabalakota mandal bordering the forests of Karnataka are on the edge after two leopards reportedly killed livestock during the last couple of days.

Forest officials have confirmed the movement of two leopards at the fringe villages at the foot of a hill near Kurabalakota.

The villagers deplored that after being hit hard economically due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of livestock adds to the woes.

According to information, two leopards were repeatedly sighted in the forest fringe villages. As cattle herders mostly depend on wild grass in the adjoining forests, they are a worried lot.

Deputy Range Officer (Madanapalle) Madan Mohan said that field staff was sent to verify the facts in the affected villages. “The jungle terrain is so vast on both sides of Madanapalle range and Karnataka,” he said.

Meanwhile, field officials observed that their visit to the rural side revealed that though there was a movement of leopards, there was no sign of the wild animals attacking the livestock.

Note of caution

“It is possible that some miscreants might have taken away the sheep during the recent festivals. This might have been mistaken for leopards killing them. We have cautioned the villagers of forested belt not to keep their livestock outside for a considerable period,” a staff member said.

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