Mumbai: Forest department trains people from Thane society to deal with leopards

Jul 03, 2018, 14:00 IST | A Correspondent

After a leopard was spotted in the area late at night, the forest department trained the residents in the dos and don'ts in such encounters

Mumbai: Forest department trains people from Thane society to deal with leopards
CCTV cameras caught the leopard prowling in the garden in the wee hours of Sunday

Residents of a building at Thane-Ghodbunder Road had an usually exciting Sunday after a leopard was spotted enjoying a quiet walk in their park.

In the wee hours of July 1, CCTV cameras installed at Sagar Residency captured footage of the big cat calmly prowling on the building's lawn. After residents informed them of the sighting, the forest department sent a patrolling team, along with volunteers from the NGO Trust for Rescue, Afforestation, Conservation & Knowledge (TRACK).

Nitesh Pancholi, a member of the NGO which has been helping the forest department in a camera trapping study, said, "Leopard sightings are not surprising in this area, as it is close to Sanjay Gandhi National Park and adjacent to the forest patch. We found a lot of stray dogs here, which have attracted the leopard. Along with the forest department, we have already installed camera traps to study its movement."

A team from the Thane Forest Department (Territorial) is also patrolling the area, and volunteers from TRACK have informed the locals about the dos and don'ts in case of another sighting. Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar, deputy conservator of forest (DCF), said, "Leopard is a very shy animal and usually flees when it sees a human being. I would like to appeal to citizens that if they spot a leopard, they should not try to corner or provoke it, as that will lead to conflict. They should call our control room, so that we can send our team to the spot."

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