The leopard preying on the stray in the Mulund West housing society
The leopard preying on the stray in the Mulund West housing society

The fact that we share our space with leopards comes as no surprise for the residents of Teakwood Cooperative Housing Society in Mulund West. Living just a stone's throw from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), the locals are used to sightings of the spotted cat. But even they were surprised to see the CCTV footage of a leopard boldly hunting a stray dog very close to the building, even though the area was brightly lit.

Watch the video below...



Caught on camera
The incident was recorded at 4.04 am on September 5, when the leopard walked into the well-lit street outside the building. It pounced on a sleeping dog and then paused for a bit in the middle of the street before carrying the carcass away, casual as you please.

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What surprised locals was that the leopard had left the safety of darkness to hunt the stray, as if it does this every day. On the very next day, footage of the incident went viral on WhatsApp and other social networking websites. The Thane Forest Department (Territorial) was immediately informed about the incident, after which patrolling was increased in the area.

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'Don't panic, be alert'
An FD official said, "We, along with the Mumbaikars for SGNP initiative, had carried out awareness drives in the society a few months ago, as leopard sightings are frequent here. We have now increased patrolling in the area and would like to request the residents to not panic. In case they see a leopard, they should inform our control room."

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The residents, however, said they were not worried, as they were used to the presence of wild animals.

Pawan Sharma, honorary wildlife warden (Thane) and president of the NGO RAWW, said, "There is no need to panic, but be alert and aware of the presence of wildlife around. We have successfully shared space and coexisted with them for ages, and we must continue to do so. The Forest Department is keeping regular vigil."

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