Leopard giving sleepless nights to Boisar locals walks right into trap

Feb 09, 2018, 10:26 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

After attacking a calf in Palghar district's Boisar, the leopard walks into cage set up for him following complaints from locals in the area

The male leopard will be released in his natural habitat soon
The male leopard will be released in his natural habitat soon

Boisar locals have caught the culprit - a male leopard, whose series of attacks on strays and cattle in the area had been giving them sleepless nights. The spotted cat was trapped in the wee hours of Wednesday, after he had attacked a calf, when he walked into the cage that had been set up for him. In September 2017, a leopard had attacked a calf and pet dog, after which the forest department had installed camera traps in the area.

Also read - Leopard count at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) rises to 41 but 50 per cent of old ones missing

Leopard

Living in fear
Speaking to mid-day, Deputy Conservator of Forests Nanasaheb Ladkat said, "Over the last few months, there have been a series of leopard attacks on stray dogs and cattle in Boisar. Locals were living in fear, and hence, permission was taken from the PCCF office to trap the animal." Forest department sources said that for the last two months there were continuous sightings of the leopard in the area, so much so that some farmers had even stopped going to their fields out of fear.

"Our team has been carrying out awareness in the area and explained the dos and don'ts to locals if they spot a leopard. Leopards are shy and run away when they see humans. So, people don't need to be scared. Leopards come near human settlements in search of dogs. Villagers should maintain cleanliness in the area, so that dogs don't gather near the garbage and attract leopards," said Ladkat.

Fit and fine
After trapping the leopard, the villagers informed the forest department, and along with volunteers of Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare Association (WCAWA), the leopard was taken to the rescue centre at Dahanu. Dr Dinesh Vinherkar, a veterinarian attached with WCAWA, also made sure that the cage in which the leopard was trapped was covered with plastic from all sides so that the animal didn't get aggressive on seeing humans.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) authorities were informed, and the leopard rescue team and veterinary officer reached the spot last afternoon, where a medical examination was conducted. SGNP veterinary officer Dr Shailesh Pethe said, "The leopard is completely fit. A micro-chip has been inserted in his body, and we have given the fitness certificate to release the animal." Said to be around eight years old, the spotted cat is quite alert and active and will be released into his natural habitat soon, forest department sources said.

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Age of the leopard in years

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