Leopard's poaching: Forest department to start 24-hour foot patrols in Aarey

Chandni’s death will not be in vain. The poaching of Aarey Colony’s beloved leopard on Monday spurred the Thane forest department and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) to come up with a plan to tighten the noose around poachers. They will soon launch joint patrols — on foot and vehicles — during day and night to spot wire snares.

Read Story: 6-year-old leopard is first poaching victim in Aarey Colony

Chandni (File pic)

At a meeting convened on Sunday, a day after the decomposed carcass of the six-year-old big cat was found in a trap, senior officials of both the forest department and SGNP brainstormed on measures to nip poaching.

KP Singh, chief conservator of forests, Thane, said the two parties are working on their plan for joint patrols. “Investigation into the death of the leopard is in progress. We are trying our best to nab the people responsible for the death of the female leopard.”

Territorial range officials of the Thane forest department, who have been posted on duty at Aarey Milk Colony, have been asked to keep a close watch on people who venture into the forest inside Aarey to collect firewood. They have also been directed to get in touch with their informants and coax information on poachers out of them. The forest department will coordinate with the local police station on the information it gets.

“I have asked my staff members to make sure they conduct foot patrols inside Aarey without fail,” said Singh.

The SGNP already has an anti-poaching team in place. Its authorities will also set up protection huts within the national park, which will be manned 24x7 by forest department personnel.

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