Leopard sighted at Karnala bird sanctuary for first time in a decade

The recent sighting of a leopard at Karnala Bird Sanctuary near Panvel has taken the researchers by surprise as in last one decade there have not been leopard sightings in this sanctuary, which is a heaven for birding enthusiasts.

The evidence of a leopard in the sanctuary has been captured by the camera traps that have been installed in the area.

Leopard caught on camera killing livestock
Leopard caught on camera killing livestock. Pictures Courtesy Maharashtra Forest Department/Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Speaking to mid-day, a senior officer from Karnala Bird Sanctuary said, “Over a week back, a livestock was killed near a lake close to Ransai village adjacent to the Karnala bird sanctuary. The villagers informed us about the same and our staff reached the spot and the way in which the animal was killed was evident that it was killed by a carnivore. In order to reconfirm the same we installed four camera traps and we were happy to see that a leopard was moving in the area. We have already informed the locals that there is nothing to worry about this but people should take precautions and in case of sightings close to the human settlements, they should inform us.”

It should be noted that Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a famous destination among the wildlife and birding lovers. For birding enthusiasts it’s a place that is famous and much wildlife and nature lover visit this place.

The location where the livestock was killed was at a distance of 5 km from the Karnala fort.

“On March 27, we got a few more images and videos of leopard in the four camera traps that we have set. We are continuously monitoring its movement. It’s difficult to say from where the leopard might have come to Karnala but leopards are knwn to travel a long distance and so it’s a good news that the animal has been sighted over here.” said another FD official.

The first image of a leopard eating the carcass of the kill was recorded in the camera trap on March 23 at 12.41 am near the camera trap that was installed near the carcass. The animal was also seen near the kill at 4.07 am eating the carcass. FD officials believe that the leopard that killed the livestock is expected to be a male leopard.

In last 10 years there has not been a leopard sighting in the area and so this news has come as a surprise. KBS was formed in the year 1971 and it is at a distance of 60 kms south-west of Mumbai. KBS is home to various sperecies of birds and also migratory birds visit this sanctuary.

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