Mumbai: Will Aarey get a new leopard to fear?

After trapping the suspected male leopard that killed one and injured four others at the Aarey Milk Colony, forest department authorities fear a new big cat may take over

Workers set up a camera at Aarey. Ten new cameras will be installed
Workers set up a camera at Aarey. Ten new cameras will be installed

Now that the suspected male leopard that killed one and injured four others has been caught by the forest department, authorities plan to continue the camera trapping exercise for another three months. This is being done in order to ascertain whether a new leopard takes over the vacated territory.

On Thursday, the four-year-old leopard that had eluded forest officials for 40 days was caught at Goregaon's Film City area. Sunil Limaye, chief conservator of forest (CCF), Thane Forest Department (Territorial) said, "We are happy that the leopard has been trapped, but we will continue the camera trapping exercise as it will give us valuable information about the leopard movement and behaviour pattern along with crucial details if a new leopard enters the territory." The research done by biologist and leopard expert Dr Vidya Athreay from the Wildlife Conservation Society-India has proven that translocating wild animals may not always yield desired results, because a new animal will occupy the vacant space.

Leopard pug marks in Aarey
Leopard pug marks in Aarey

A total of around 10 camera traps will be installed at Aarey Milk Colony and the Film City area. A logbook containing details of leopard activity will also be maintained.

For now, the suspected male leopard has been kept under observation at the Leopard Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, Khamgaon.

10 Number of camera traps laid in Aarey area

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