Tumakuru: Shepherds fall in love with marauding leopard’s cubs

TUMAKURU: Shepherds are known to kill leopards who take away their livestock but in a rare display of compassion, some shepherds who went in search of a missing sheep, accidentally came across two leopard cubs in a den at a hillock at Koratagere taluk in Tumakuru, and returned leaving the cubs unharmed.

The grouse of the shepherds living at a village, surrounded by rocky hillocks, was that a leopard was on the prowl in the region for the past couple of months and was killing livestock. The villagers were fed up with the leopard for taking away their livestock and had asked forest officials to capture the leopard. Responding to the villagers’ plea, forest officials placed a cage to capture the leopard on the prowl but the animal remained elusive.

Since, the leopard did not fall into the trap, villagers went in search of a missing sheep in the hillock, a couple of days back. It was then that they came across two cubs, probably two months old in a den. The villagers returned from the hillock after they were told by forest officials that the mother leopard would be in the region and was likely to return to attend to the cubs in the den.

A conservationist said that usually shepherds poison or kill leopards and wolves which often steal livestock while a forest official told Deccan Chronicle on Monday that leopards are shy animals and finding its den with cubs is rare. 

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