Half a dozen hamlets close to V. Kota mandal headquarters in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, are in the grip of fear with a leopard reportedly on the prowl since Friday.
As the residents spotted the leopard at three different locations in a span of half a day, there is confusion about the number of big cats in the area.
According to information, some migrant dwellers reached the premises of local Government Junior College at V. Kota close to midnight on Friday to fetch water.
As a full-grown leopard came in their view, they ran helter-skelter. The Shikari families said they had seen the animal move towards Patrapalle village. Farmers in the surrounding hamlets informed the forest officials at V. Kota and Palamaner that they had spotted a leopard moving in their fields.
Forest officials visited three hamlets on Saturday and found pug marks. It was observed that the animal might have entered V. Kota from the adjoining forests in Ramakuppam mandal.
A senior official said that after surveillance, a cage would be set up to trap the animal.
A couple of months ago, a leopard had injured a farmer at Shantipuram mandal, close to V.Kota. It was later trapped and released into the forests.