Leopard seen in Khatau mills caught, released

May 18, 2013, 12:48 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

According to wildlife experts, the Thane forest department's action might just worsen the situation; they say the female leopard shouldn't have been trapped as her two cubs might enter residential areas searching for their mother

The female leopard spotted at the defunct Khatau Mill adjacent to Ekta Meadows Society in Kandivli ( E) walked into the cage set by Thane Forest Department late on Thursday night. As the animal was completely fit, it was released back into the wild early yesterday.

The Bombay Territorial Range of Thane Forest Department ( FD) had set up a cage in the mill a few days ago, following requests from the residents of the society.

Meanwhile, two cubs have also been spotted in the mill and wildlife experts feel that there are chances that the cubs may come close to humans while searching for their mother.

Khatau Mills leopard caught, released
Caught and released: The female leopard that was sighted at Khatau Mills compound near Ekta Meadows, Kandivli, last week was trapped and released into the wild yesterday

When the Chief Conservator of Forest ( CCF) R K Pole was asked about chances of mananimal conflict in the area due to the presence of the cubs, he refused to comment but said, “ The trap was set only after taking permission from the concerned authorities.”

Wrong move?

Wildlife experts feel that the trapping and relocation of the animal will only worsen the situation.

Wildlife expert Krishna Tiwari said, “ The decision to set up a trap in the defunct mill because of the leopard being spotted there is wrong. Now that the leopard is caught and released at some other place, there are chances that a conflict might take place, as the cubs will search for their mother.

Also, animals have a homing instinct as a result of which the leopard will return to its territory.

Will the Thane FD keep on trapping and relocating it?”

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