Caught On Camera: Leopard strolling through premises shocks residents in Navi Mumbai
Even as shocked residents dismiss it as a rumour, forest department says the big cat could have come from the bird sanctuary or other forested areas nearby
In what has surprised and shocked Taloja residents in equal measure, a CCTV installed in a factory in the Navi Mumbai area captured footage of a leopard slinking around a few days ago.
Speaking to mid-day, Deputy Conservator of Forests Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar said, "We have received CCTV footage of a leopard roaming on the premises of a factory in Taloja, and the same has been forwarded to our official in charge of Panvel for verification."
Forest department officials scout the area where the animal was spotted
The forest department has started an investigation based on the pug marks found in the area. A few sceptical villagers, however, have called it a rumour, saying there is no history of leopard sightings or presence in the area. But forest department officials suspect the big cat might have come from the Karnala Bird Sanctuary or the forested patch in Padgha, or even from the green area on the Matheran hill, which is the closest to the place.
A forest department official from the Panvel Range said, "We have got the CCTV footage of November 19; the leopard was seen walking around that night by the watchman posted on the company premises.
Officials suspect this to be the place the big cat came from
"Around 2 am, the watchman heard some noise outside his cabin. When he came to the window to check, he was shocked to see the animal. As a precautionary measure, he bolted his room and, in the morning, informed his senior about it. They then checked the CCTV footage..."
Did you know?
In March 2016, a leopard was sighted in Karnala Bird Sanctury near Panvel after nearly a decade. mid-day's report on it had stated how the sighting, in the haven for bird enthusiasts, had taken researchers by surprise.
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Leopard spotted strolling on Mumbai-Agra highway