Mumbai: Leopard sighting in Aarey colony causes scare

Aug 06, 2017, 12:41 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Timely intervention by locals prompted the wildcat to vanish into the forest before any untoward incident could occur

Lata Srinivas Dubaka with her son, Ganesh
Lata Srinivas Dubaka with her son, Ganesh

A near-fatal encounter with a leopard was averted, thanks to the courage shown by a mother in saving her seven-year-old son. On Friday at 7.30 pm, Lata Srinivas Dubaka (29) along with son Ganesh and her younger sister Rekha (19) was returning to their Mataipada home at Aarey Milk Colony when they came across a leopard. 

"As a routine, we were heading home through the forested patch, and my son was walking ahead of us, when a leopard suddenly appeared from the bushes. Without wasting time, I yanked my son back and went ahead," she says. The leopard was 20 feet away, when the commotion created by those who saw it caused the startled animal to vanish into the bushes. The forest department and the local police station were later informed about the incident.

The forest department has started patrolling the area, and 10 camera traps are currently active at Film City and Aarey Colony to study the movement of leopards. Two trap cages have also been installed to corner the suspected leopard responsible for the man-animal attacks that have taken place in the last six months.

The locals told mid-day that the solar operated lights that were installed have either stopped working or have been stolen. "The need of the hour is to ensure that the street lights are made operational. At several places, the lights have stopped working or either stolen, but the Aarey CEO office is least bothered," said Ankush Bhoir, a tribal leader from Aarey Milk Colony.

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