A fresh leopard attack on two women in Aarey Milk Colony on Saturday night has left the forest department confused, as this comes just a fortnight after they caught the big cat that was believed to be behind five recent attacks on locals.

Baiji Bandre has injuries on her left leg and hand
Baiji Bandre has injuries on her left leg and hand

The attack took place between 8 and 8.30 pm in the tribal hamlet of Chafyachapada. The injured are Baiji Bandre, 48, and Ashatai Gavit, 55, who are currently undergoing treatment at the Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Centre in Jogeshwari East.

Eyewitness account
Diru Kharva, an eyewitness, told mid-day, "Around 8.30 pm, I saw a dog running towards my house, followed by Ashatai. She told me that a leopard had attacked Baijitai, who had fainted. Within seconds, a leopard also came running to pounce on the dog. I think Ashatai was standing in the way, and she got injured. I immediately started shouting and ran towards Ashatai, and the animal fled."

The locals rushed Bandre to the hospital, where she was admitted. Gavit had minor injuries, but upon the advice of the locals, she also went to the hospital an hour later. It is said that both might be discharged today.

Locals terrified
Following the attack, the local residents are living in fear once again. They complained that the solar streetlights that were installed there three to four months ago have now stopped working. They demanded that the authorities ensure the lights are repaired or replaced to prevent further incidents.

Following the attack, the Thane Forest Department (Territorial) has gone on the alert mode. A senior forest department official said, "The man-animal conflict incident in which two women were injured at Aarey is really unfortunate, and instructions have been given to the officials concerned to increase patrolling. Our team visited the victims in the hospital and took their statements. They are investigating what led to the incident. Fortunately, the women are out of danger."

Immediately after the incident, two camera traps were installed at the location to monitor the activity of the leopard.