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 7 days.
This was announced by TTD chairman D K Adikesavulu and Forest Minister P Ramachandra Reddy, along with Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wild Life) Hitesh Malhotra and PCCF Madhukar Raju, after discussions at the Secretariat on Monday morning on the issue of wild cat attack.
They said the deer will be sent to the Deer Park in Chittoor and also to the newly developed park at Idupulapaya in Kadapa.
The minister said it has been decided to set two more traps to catch the panther. 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 footpath in areas that are specially close to wild life, and also provide more lighting in the area to scare animals and protect devotees as advised by the forest officials.
There were about 22 panthers in the S V wild life sanctuary spread on the seven hills, he said
The minister also said that an aerial survey will be conducted all along the foot walker's route.
The temple administration has already restricted timings
on the foot walkers' path.
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 the deer camp, and has also formed mobile strike parties to patrol the area regularly, day and night.
TTD Executive Officer IYR Krishna Rao also spoke to Forest Minister P Ramachandra Reddy and assured him of all support in the shifting of the deer to other locations, and also in safety measures.
"We will take up extra lighting and additional fencing activities immediately on experts' advice," he said.