Last week, footage of a leopard was captured in the CCTV installed at Abhinav Nagar, which is at the outskirts of Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivli (East)
On Wednesday, the CCTV installed at Abhinav Nagar in Borivli East, situated on the periphery of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), captured a rare visit — that of a leopard.
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In the footage, a leopard can be seen running around, after which the animal takes a majestic leap over a compound wall into a residential plot.
"Stray dogs are easy prey compared to spotted deer. There is ample amount of food available in SGNP for leopards. Some of the animals, who have their territory on the border of the park, hunt for dogs and pigs," an official from the Forest Department said on condition of anonymity.
Screen grabs from the CCTV footage recorded on June 17
Dr Mahesh Gaitonde, a resident of the area, said, "The howling of dogs alerted us." According to locals, there has been an increase in the frequency of sightings since the past two weeks. Moulik K, another resident, said, "I spotted a leopard late at night last week. Everyone in the colony is keeping an eye out for the big cat."
Dogs attract big cats
Residents feels the stray dogs are attracting leopards to the area. "There are around 16 dogs in the vicinity. We have complained to the BMC and the local corporator about the stray dog menace, but no action has been taken so far," says Anuya Gaitonde, a resident.
Anwar Ahmed, acting chief conservator of forest (CCF) at SGNP, said, "As the society is just outside the boundary of SGNP, there are chances that the animal must have gone near the building.
I will send our rescue team to the spot to conduct an awareness session with the residents. People should make sure that they don't corner or provoke the animal in case of a sighting. They should inform our control room immediately."
According to biologist Dr Vidya Athreya from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), there have been many instances where people residing outside the SGNP boundary have spotted leopards in their building premises.
"There is nothing to worry about. The people staying in the society should make sure that the building premises are properly lit. They should see to it that there are no stray dogs, which are easy prey. Parents should not let children go out alone after dark," he said.