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Odisha: Elusive leopard gives sleepless nights to denizens, search Ops on

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Bhubaneswar: Residents of Palasapalli and nearby areas in Odisha capital are still panicked and having sleepless nights as the Forest Department officials have failed to capture the leopard which strayed into the locality on Sunday night.

The Forest officials with the help of police, fire service personnel and veterinary doctors are on an operation since the big cat was spotted near an office at Palaspalli adjacent to the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA).

After a massive search operation by a ten-member team yielded no results today, the Forest Department personnel laid three traps and installed as many as 10 trap cameras at different places where the leopard is suspected to be hiding.

The officials have used goats and hen to capture the leopard. “Our priority is the safety of the locals and to ensure no loss of properties while carrying out the search operation,” said Chandaka DFO Kedar Swain.

Meanwhile, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) jawans deployed at the airport claimed they saw the leopard today. “I saw the leopard at around 4.40 am while I was on duty in the airport watch tower,” a CISF jawan said.

In CCTV footage, the big cat was seen entering a commercial establishment premises near the airport yesterday evening. The animal was scaling the perimeter wall of the airport before entering the establishment premises.

The incident has left the denizens of the city panic-stricken. Environmentalists speculate that the animal might have escaped from the Chandaka forest range on the outskirts of the city.