Thane Forest Department finally captures evasive Powai leopard after 5 years

Updated: Nov 15, 2016, 13:04 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav |

A full-grown male leopard, which evaded Thane Forest Department (TFD) officials for over five years, was captured on Saturday by TFD's Mumbai Territorial range


The cage in which the leopard was trapped

A leopard, which evaded Thane Forest Department (TFD) officials for over five years, was captured on Saturday by TFD’s Mumbai Territorial range. The carnivore, which was frequently spotted on the hillock behind Supreme Business Park at Hiranandani, walked into the cage set up by the FD. Incidentally, despite a high human density around the hillock, not a single instance of man-animal conflict was reported from this area, as there was ample amount of prey in the area, including dogs and pigs.

TFD’s Deputy Conservator of Forest (Territorial) Kishore Thakare said, “As the leopard was roaming to close to hum­an settlements in the Hiranandani-Powai area, we had to trap the animal to avoid any conflict. It was only after getting permission from the Principal Chief Conservator of the Forest Office that the cage was set up on the hillock in Powai.”

Capture guidelines
It should be noted that as per Human-Leopard Conflict rul­es, permission to trap a leopard can only be given by the PCCF-Nagpur office. Also, it is only given in dire situations when capturing the animal is absolutely crucial. The guidelines also state that if the animal is fit, it should be released back in its natural habitat. Sources said the animal is fit and doesn’t have a microchip in its body, which means it was trapped for the first time.

Expert speak
"The leopard’s blood samples have been collected and we are awaiting the reports, after which authorities will decide where and when to release it,” said Dr Shailesh Pethe, veterinary officer at SGNP.

A wildlife expert said, “This male leopard has been co-existing peacefully with humans for almost five years. I don’t think there’s any need to relocate the animal as it only worsens aggression problems in carnivores and can lead the animal to attack humans.”

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