Chairman and Forest Minister of AP press meet at Hyderabad

Hyderabad, August 2:The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and the Forest ministry have jointly decided  to shift the deer park on the 7th mile location on the Walkers  foot path route to  Tirumala hills , after  a female  panther  attacked  devotees  for the second time in the last seven days .

 This was announced by the  TTD chairman Sri  D K  Adikesavulu and the Forest Minister  P Ramachandra Reddy  along with  Hitesh Malhotra ,Principal Chief Conservator of Forests ( Wild Life) and Madhukar Raju , PCCF  after  discussions at the secretariat  this morning on the issue of panther attack .

 They said the deer  will be  sent to  either the deer park  in Chittoor  and also the one newly developed  at the Idupulapaya in YSR Kadapa district .

 The minister said  it has also been decided to set two more  traps to catch the female panther which was wandering in the same area as it appeared to have some cubs and hence its movement limited .  The government has also decided to conduct an aerial survey to track the animal and trap it at the earliest.

 The TTD chairman said TTD will build  high fencing  of the foot path in the specific areas of wild life  proximity and also provide  more lighting in the area  to scare animals and protect devotees  as advised by the  forest officials . ‘ The wild animals like leopard  and wild bears are regularly coming near the foot path  attracted to the adjacent  deer park  which has  become crowded with  270 animals  in the last few years “, he said. There were about 22 panthers in the SV wild life sanctuary spread on the seven hills.

 The Minister also said that an aerial survey will be conducted all along the foot walker’s route to infill confidence in the devotees of the actions taken up by the TTD. The Temple administration has already  stopped  the  foot walkers  path  from evening Four PM  till early morning  6 AM ever since the second leopard attack on devotees  on Sunday .

 Speaking on the occasion Hitesh Malhotra, the PCCF (wild Life) said that the attacking animal has been identified as a female along with few cubs by the pug marks found in the area.’  The Forest department has set up a base camp at the site of Deer camp and also formed mobile strike parties to patrol the area regularly both day and night. The effort is to scare the animal and to trap it ‘he said.

 The TTD Executive Officer Sri I Y R Krishna Rao also spoke to the Forest Minister Sri P Ramachandra Reddy and assured him of all support in movement of deer to other locations and also in safety measures.” We will take up extra lighting and additional fencing activities immediately on experts advise “he said.