Thane Forest Department and SGNP officials trapped the big cat to rescue it after villagers complained of frequent leopard-human conflict
In the wee hours of Sunday, the Thane Forest Department (FD) trapped a leopard in a cage at Pethyachapada hamlet in Thane district. Locals had complained of frequent encounters with the big cat.
The sub-adult leopard is currently at SGNP’s leopard rescue centre, where he has been kept under observation.
Chief Conservator of Forest KP Singh said, “After the human-leopard conflict incidents, we had set up a trap cage near the tribal hamlet and in the wee hours of Sunday, a leopard walked into the cage.”
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He added, “The trapped animal is a sub-adult male and has been kept under observation.”
Soon after the trapping, angry villagers refused to let the authorities take him away. They did not want the leopard to survive. However, the leopard rescue team from Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Thane FD, along with Mayur Kamath, honorary wildlife warden of Mumbai and a member of the state wildlife welfare board, managed to take him to SGNP’s leopard rescue centre.
Prior to the trapping, they had created a WhatsApp group, and added villagers to it as well. The villagers were asked to notify the officials on leopard spottings in the area.
Through the group and camera trapping, the team tracked the areas that the leopards would frequent and accordingly set up the cage to trap the leopard.
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