Big cat makes early morning visit to the hostel of Goregaon’s veterinarian college and snatches a stray dog for breakfast
CCTV grabs show the hunting sequence that took place on the hostel stairs
A leopard was caught on camera paying a surprise visit to the girls hostel of Bombay Veterinary College (BVC) in Goregaon, in the wee hours of Thursday morning. But instead of a check-up, the leopard was there in search for fast food — in this case, a stray dog.
The night watchman, who was there at the time, could hardly believe his eyes as the big cat chased the dog right down the stairs of the hostel in the BVC campus, before pouncing for the kill. For some reason, the leopard let the dog go after a while, but CCTV footage then shows the wild cat giving chase yet again.
The campus is adjacent to both the Western Express Highway and Aarey Milk Colony, with which it shares a boundary wall. Leopards are known to frequent Aarey’s forested patches, and the campus too has a healthy cover of trees, making it an ideal haunt for various birds, reptiles and even leopards.
At around 4.22 am, the CCTV camera at the college gate captured the astonishing hunting sequence. Even as the leopard pounced on its prey, another dog came to investigate the noise, only to recoil in shock and run for its life.
Prakash A, one of the security guards at the hostel, said, "There is frequent leopard activity in the area, so we take precautions after sunset and before sunrise. A few days ago, my colleague was sitting inside the main gate when he saw the leopard come and pounce on a stray dog that roams around on our campus. Post this incident, we are taking even more precautions to avoid any man-animal conflict."
Security guard Prakash A stands in front of the spot of the leopard attack
The college management informed the Thane Forest Department (Territorial) of the incident, and also warned students to refrain from venturing out in the dark.
Dr AM Paturkar, associate dean, BVC, said, "Leopard activity in our campus is not new to us or the students. We see to it that the campus is well-lit. The leopard went to the girls hostel because there are stray dogs there, so I have asked the students to stop feeding the dogs, as they attract leopards."
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Chief Conservator of Forest, Thane (Territorial), Sunil Limaye immediately sent a team to the spot, to explain the dos and don’t in such situations to the students, security guards and others on campus. In the coming days, an awareness programme will also be organised by for students and staff and the BVC staff.
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