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Trapped and released in Jan, leopard gets trapped again

The leopard-human conflict has reached intense levels and it seems that trapping the leopards is not serving the purpose. In the wee hours of Monday morning, officials found a leopard calmly sitting inside a cage, which had been set by the Forest Department officials. Investigations revealed that
the female leopard trapped was the same that had been trapped back in January, this year.


Nowhere to go: The female leopard was trapped around 6.30 am on Monday by the Forest Department. Veterinary doctors said that she was in good health and the claws and teeth were intact

Around 6.30 am on Monday, the rescue team from Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and officials from the Mumbai Territorial Range of Thane Forest Department found a leopard trapped at Adarsh Nagar in Aarey milk colony, Goregaon.  Soon after its capture, officials transported it to the SGNP rescue and rehabilitation centre.

Sources close to the Forest Department requesting anonymity said, “During medical investigations, we found that the leopard had a microchip inserted in its body. After retrieving the number of the chip, we learnt that this same leopard had been trapped at Adarsh Nagar in January.”

According to the veterinary doctors, the animal is completely fit. “The feline’s teeth and claws of the leopard are intact and the animal is fit for release. The decision to release the animal will be taken by Thane Forest Department as Aarey Milk Colony falls under their jurisdiction, said an official requesting anonymity.

When MiD DAY approached range forest officer Anil Todarmal, he said, “The animal was trapped on Monday morning. The wild cat is a female and is in good health. The decision to release the animal will be taken by higher authorities.”

Big cat attacks
Since January this year, at least seven people have been attacked in in the forested area in Mumbai.
>> October 19: Seven-year-old Prakash Salunkhe is on his way home from school when he is attacked by a leopard that has strayed from the park. Prakash stayed with his parents at the Aarey Colony on the borders of the park.
>> October 1: Four-year-old Hiya Mhase is mauled to death in Khadakpada, on the peripheries of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The same day, Sunil Rajesh Bhor, an 11-year-old Std IV student, survives a violent attack.
>> September 5: A full-grown big cat attacks 29-year-old Krishna, a tempo driver who transports milk from a cowshed to a milk centre, after he alights from his vehicle
>> September 1: Guddu Kevat (28), a plumber who is a resident of Andheri (East), goes to Unit no 15 at the milk colony for an evening walk with his friends, when the animal charges at him
>> August 20: Eighteen-year-old Vaibhav Tiwari goes to pick up his mother from Durga Pada in Aarey Milk Colony, when a leopard pounces on him from the bushes

Casualties
In the last two months, two kids have been mauled to death in Aarey Milk Colony and more than half a dozen people have been injured owing to the presence of wild cats in the area.

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