On September 16, a leopard fell into a septic tank near Kasara. While the Thane Forest Department managed to rescue the wild cat, this was not a one-off accident.
In the last two years, there have been several cases where wild animals, including leopards, jungle cats and civets, have died after falling into wells that either lack safety walls or have walls lower than three feet. To curb such incidents, the Thane Forest Department plans to conduct a survey of wells across Thane district by October end.
The GPS locations of the wells without boundary walls will be plotted and walls of four to five feet in height will be constructed around them by end of next year, KP Singh Chief, conservator of Thane Forest Department, confirmed.
The forest department will appoint volunteers who will visit areas along the forest patch and prepare a databank within a month and a half. The area outside the boundary of Sanjay Gandhi National Park comes under the jurisdiction of Thane Forest Department. According to forest department sources, the Mumbai range jurisdiction has between 15 and 20 such walls.
Fall from grace
>> In March 2013 , a six-month-old leopard cub fell into an abandoned well without a safety wall, and drowned in Yeoor.
>> In December 2013, a black leopard fell into a well at Oni village near Rajapur, Ratnagiri. Luckily, it was rescued.
>> In May 2015, a leopard fell into a well in Kothapur village, Pune district. It was rescued after a four-hour operation.