Mumbai: Is my home not a forest, asks a well-known Aarey resident

Updated: Oct 12, 2019, 10:59 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav, Ashish Rane |

Around midnight on Thursday mid-day's photo editor Ashish Rane was in Aarey, when he received a call from a nature lover informing him about a leopard resting on a concrete structure

A female resident leopard of Aarey Milk Colony, who has been often sighted in the verdant greens for over three years, was spotted again in the wee hours of Friday. The Supreme Court had halted the felling of trees for a Metro car shed in the area
A female resident leopard of Aarey Milk Colony, who has been often sighted in the verdant greens for over three years, was spotted again in the wee hours of Friday. The Supreme Court had halted the felling of trees for a Metro car shed in the area

Is Aarey a forest? Its wildlife certainly seems to point to the fact over and over again.

12.30 am: Venus, the leopard, who was resting with her eyes half shut, reared her head as soon as she heard the mid-day photographer's cameral click
12.30 am: Venus, the leopard, who was resting with her eyes half shut, reared her head as soon as she heard the mid-day photographer's cameral click

In the very early hours of Friday, mid-day was able to shoot more evidence in the form of a female leopard, identified as Venus by her unique markings, who spent two whole hours perched on a wall inside the colony.

12.35 am
12.35 am

Around midnight on Thursday mid-day's photo editor Ashish Rane was in Aarey on a personal errand, when he received a call from a nature lover informing him about a leopard resting on a concrete structure in the forested patch at Aarey. Rane reached the spot around 12.30 am and took a series of photos of her in various poses. A nature lover in the area said Venus is a resident animal and has been roaming in Aarey for the past three years.

12:45am: When he tried to get closer, she let out a warning roar, before settling down again once he had moved away
12:45am: When he tried to get closer, she let out a warning roar, before settling down again once he had moved away

The nature lover who did not wished to be named said, "The 16 sq km of Aarey Milk Colony is home to rich flaura and fauna yet the authorities are not interested in protecting it." Well-known wildlife researcher Rajesh Sanap, who has discovered several wild species in Aarey, said, "Aarey acts as a buffer zone to Sanjay Gandhi National Park and protecting it from unplanned projects and increasing encroachments is the need of the hour."

1:15 am
1:15 am

1:35 am: Some 20 minutes later, the sleepy feline yawned widely for the camera before turning and walking away, only to settle down a few metres away on the same wall. Pics/Ashish Rane
1:35 am: Some 20 minutes later, the sleepy feline yawned widely for the camera before turning and walking away, only to settle down a few metres away on the same wall. Pics/Ashish Rane

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