Wild Cats of Hyderabad: For a Change Wild Animals “Reclaiming” Cities Terrify Citizens


Wild Cats of Hyderabad: For a Change Wild Animals “Reclaiming” Cities Terrify Citizens

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

Since the coronavirus pandemic has forced countries into a lockdown, we’ve read the “nature is reclaiming its space” headline many times over. From Ganga water being called fit for drinking for the first time in decades at Haridwar, to the return of the critically endangered Gangetic Dolphins in Kolkata ghats, each phenomena has been embraced with cheer.

However, the recent spotting of two wild cats in Hyderabad has caused much distress and fear.

On late Wednesday night, May 13, a civet cat was spotted on the ramparts of Noorani Masjid at Fateh Darwaza of Golconda Fort. The sighting of the cat triggered the rumors of a black panther in the vicinity, causing anxiety among the residents in the area who were already under lockdown.

The fear of the unexpected visitor had the residents up the whole night. Relief came early Thursday morning when a team of forest officials finally rescued the cat before shifting it to the Nehru Zoological Park. It remains unknown where the cat, identified as the Asian palm civet, came from and how it managed to get inside the area.

However, there was no rest for the officials at work. Only hours later, news of a leopard being spotted on the underpass road of Katedan bridge at Mailardevpally surfaced.

The leopard, believed to be injured, stayed resting on the road for close to an hour-and-a-half as motorists and locals around panicked at the sighting of the wild cat.

However, before it could be tranquilised by the forest officials and the rescue team from Nehru Zoological Park, the leopard escaped to a 100-acre agricultural farm on the Shamshabad route. The area was said to be secured by the police and forest officials, along with the help of the rescue teams, attempting to capture the big cat. Drone and trap cameras too are being used to trace its location, according to Financial Express.

While there have been reports saying that a person was attacked by the leopard and was admitted to a hospital to treat his mild injuries, forest department officials have denied it. At present, the area has been sealed by police and stopped the vehicular movement around.

Multiple netizens have expressed their shared concern about the leopard and its safety.

These incidents have also served as a reminder of the panic that can ensue no thanks to fake news that wasn’t fact checked.