BENGALURU: Leopard sighting a construction labourer again on Wednesday at Nallurhalli, near Whitefield, created a major scare and nearly 80 of the 135 schools, including Vibgyor High, in the area remained closed as a precautionary measure

All the 135 schools in Varthur, Immadihalli, Doddakanelli and Maratha halli, east Bengaluru, were ordered to remain closed on Thursday, education department officials said. The holiday was only for children, India media reported.

Teams of forest officials scoured the area for the three big cats that had been spotted on Tuesday evening. One leopard had been sighted by a woman labourer at Nallurhalli, about 20 km from the city, and two behind Vibgyor High Marathahalli, at Thubarahalli, 5 km away.

On Wednesday evening, a labourer is said to have spotted a leopard walking into an eucalyptus grove with a stray dog in its mouth.

The latest sighting was reported from a area adjacent to the technology corridor housing Divyashree Tech Park, Accenture and other software majors.

However, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ravi Ralf has said that no evidence had been found to site that there were more leopards in the area . Teams of forest officials combed the area for the last two days after locals claimed they had spotted two more leopards.

“The pug marks locals pointed us to do not belong to a leopard. The marks belong to a dog,” he said. Forest officials are, however, not taking things lightly. “The reason we have launched a massive search operation is because this is leopard country and there is every chance that there are more of them in the area,” he said, adding that dogs and other animals reared by people are attracting the big cats.

 “I have confirmation of one leopard being spotted, but people residing in the area are saying they have spotted two in and around Vibgyor school,” a forest official said.

A surprise entry of an eight-year-old leopard into the school early on Sunday and its rescue after a 12-hour operation in which five people were injured has shocked people in Bengaluru.