The incident occurred on Friday night in Vasai near Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
The male leopard that was run over by a vehicle in Vasai
In yet another hit-and-run case, a leopard was killed by an unidentified vehicle near Vasai late Friday night.
Confirming the incident, Ahmed Anwar, SGNP Director and Chief Conservator of Forest, said, "A male leopard, aged 5 to 6 years, was found dead on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway near Sativli on Friday at 10.30 pm. The leopard was brought to SGNP for a post-mortem. Prima facie cause of death as seen during the post-mortem is hypovolemic shock due to internal haemorrhage caused by mechanical trauma. The final reports will be out on Tuesday."
In January 2016, a five-year-old male leopard was found dead near Vasai Phata on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway after it was hit by a speeding vehicle.
What experts have to say
Krishna Tiwari, Forest and Wildlife Conservation Centre said, "The authorities should construct wildlife crossing or underpass so that animals can safely cross to the other side. They should also install reflective signboards which give information to the vehicles that there is a wild animal crossing the area. Installing speed-breakers at accident-prone locations is a must."
The lethal stretch
In April 2014, a one-year-old leopard was killed in a hit-and-run accident in the wee hours near Ghodbunder village on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway. The leopard was the 41st animal to be killed on the highway near SGNP and Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (TWS) in the past 20 years.
According to a study conducted by Mumbaikars for SGNP, there has been an average of two leopard deaths every year due to road accidents. The numbers shot up in 2002 and 2007, with seven and six deaths recorded respectively. A majority of the accidents took place on the stretch between Ghodbunder village and Vasai, near Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Leopards have died in accidents from 1997-2017