Mumbai: 10 leopard traps found in Film City

These traps were found just 200 m from the spot where the carcass of a leopard was found on June 17

Poaching is on the rise, if the recent incidents are taken into consideration. After finding a decomposed body of a leopard (Poachers snare second leopard in three months), 10 active snare traps were discovered on Sunday by officials who were conducting tree census on behalf of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s ongoing survey.

The tree census surveyors with the trap made of clutch wire
The tree census surveyors with the trap made of clutch wire

The officials informed the forest department and a team of five officers arrived at the spot to dismantle the traps. The spot was in Film City premises, a mere 200 m away from the place where the decomposed body of a leopard was found.

Volunteers dismantling the traps
Volunteers dismantling the traps

The 10 snare traps were made of clutch wire, insulation and nylon wires. Incidentally, a clutch wire was also used to trap the wild cat in the earlier incident.

“Forest officials need to be more alert and form a special squad to arrest the culprits indulging in poaching of wild life,” said Anil Rajbhar, a botanist who along with his team had discovered the traps.

Alarmed about the rising cases of poaching, a team from Aarey Conservation Group had a closed-door meeting with the officials of Thane forest department on Monday evening.

“We expressed our concern over the recent cases of poaching. We have also decided to award any person who helps the forest department nab the culprits involved in killing wild animals, since there has been no arrest so far,” said Rohit Joshi, who was present in the meeting.

Chief Conservator of Forest Thane (Territorial) K P Singh also was present in the meeting and said that an investigation into the matter is on. “In fact, we have increased the vigil in the area and have also started round-the-clock patrolling to curb the menace,” said Singh, adding that the Territorial Range of Thane forest department is also taking the help of volunteers to scan the forest and dismantle more traps, if found.

Forest officials are also contemplating the idea to install CCTV cameras and start an awareness drive to save the wild animals. They are also likely to question people who construct film sets for shooting in the Film City.

Reward for informers
The Aarey Conservation Group has announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for informers of poaching, but this award will be valid only if the culprit gets arrested. Not to be left behind, even the Territorial Range of Thane forest department is contemplating with announcing rewards for people who would help them nab the culprit.

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