Leopard in Thane society turns out to be a cat

Sep 20, 2013, 00:57 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Frightened locals called authorities from the Forest Department after spotting what they thought was a leopard cub on the 10th floor of the building

A SIGHT of a cat in the wee hours of Thursday morning sent residents of Hiranandani society in Thane into a panic. The residents mistook the cat, which was on the 10th floor of the building for a leopard cub and in their state of panic called up officials from the Thane Forest Department and an NGO.

Cat confusion: When residents saw this cat on the 10th floor of their building on Thursday morning, they feared it was a leopard. After authorities reached the spot, they confirmed it was just a stray cat and there was nothing to fear

Fearing the worst, officials rushed to the spot only to find that it was not a leopard cub but a cat.

Speaking to MiD DAY, Pawan Sharma from RAWW (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare), said, “In the wee hours of Thursday, at around 1.20 am, we got a call on our helpline number from residents of Canosa building, B wing, Hiranandani estate, Thane (West). A woman said she needed our help, as a leopard had been spotted on the 10th floor of the building.”

Frazzled that a leopard was in their building, residents also called the forest department and the cops.

Around 1.50 am, the RAWW team along with the Thane Forest Department reached the building and spoke to the woman who had called in the authorities. “We spoke to the lady and also carried out a search operation for the leopard. She showed us pictures she had taken of the leopard and it was then that we noticed that it wasn’t a leopard but a full-grown cat. We immediately notified the residents that it wasn’t a leopard and there was no need to worry,” said a Thane forest department official.

Sharma from RAWW added that after confirming that the so-called leopard was in fact, a cat, the officials also gave out the helpline numbers in case of any incident in the future and left.

Leopard spotting
On September 5, CCTV footage from Wellington Co-operative Housing Society (CHS) in Hiranandani Estate in Thane (W) had revealed that a leopard had entered and exited the colony in the wee hours. Residents had said that this was the first time that they had seen a leopard in the colony.  

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