A leopard was spotted strolling near the wall of a Mumbai housing society along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, triggering panic among the residents and others in the area, a forest official said on Sunday, reported news agency PTI.
The big cat was captured on CCTV cameras installed at the Mumbai housing society, located close to the Aarey forest. The footage has gone viral on social media.
“A leopard roaming next to our society is very scary and dangerous. It can lead to a conflict situation. We are coordinating with forest officials to address this issue,” said a resident of the Mumbai housing society, reported PTI.
Forest staff are closely monitoring the situation followed by daily night patrolling in and around that area, the official said. Citizens should not panic and instead, contact the 1926 toll-free helpline of the forest department in case of leopard sighting, he said, reported PTI.
Mere sightings of leopards in suburban Mumbai, especially on the periphery of SGNP (Sanjay Gandhi National Park) or Aarey is not dangerous, said Pawan Sharma, founder and president of RAWW (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare), reported PTI.
He said wild animals often stray towards human habitats in search of easy prey due to their natural instincts, reported PTI.
“Citizens should avoid entering dark areas at night. They should keep their society well lit for clear visibility. Small children and pets should be accompanied with adults, while security guards should stay in their cabins and use torches at night,” said Sharma, who is also the honorary wildlife warden with the forest department, reported PTI.
Meanwhile, earlier in December last year, a leopard wandered into a residential area in Pune district, Maharashtra, prompting a five-hour rescue operation that ended successfully with the animal`s safe extraction, according to a police official, reported PTI.
A report in PTI stated that the locals in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area reported seeing an adult leopard about 4:50 a.m. After being alerted, forest officials, police, the fire department, and members of the RESQ Charitable Trust rushed to tranquillize and rescue the wild cat, reported PTI.
Authorities encouraged residents to stay indoors to avoid agitating the animals as a result of the ruckus. According to Senior Inspector Dnyaneshwar Karkar of the Chikhli police station, the leopard first entered the Sonawane Vasti area of Chikhali, the report added, reported PTI.
Karkar revealed that the leopard sought refuge in a field after an attempt to trap it at a godown failed. It was eventually tranquillized with a dart and rescued later.
“Efforts were made to capture the leopard at a godown, but the feline gave the rescuers the slip. It was then isolated on a farm. Eventually, the leopard was tranquilised with a dart and successfully rescued around 10 am,” Karkar told PTI.
According to the report, the rescue operation ended without any human casualties or injury to the leopard. The RESQ Charitable Trust`s Nachiket Upadhyay complimented the joint efforts of all agencies engaged in properly darting and saving the animal, reported PTI.
Officials stated that the leopard`s health would be evaluated before it was released back into the wild.
(With inputs from PTI)
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