Mumbai: Leopard enters chawl in Aarey colony, chases stray dog
When stray dogs started barking, a local thought it was a thief, but instead saw the big cat prowling in the lanes near their homes
After a series of thefts at Unit 7 in Aarey Milk Colony, a local resident installed CCTV cameras to capture cat burglars in the act. But on Friday, he was shocked when the camera caught a completely different sort of cat.
"I heard dogs barking in the area, so I immediately switched on the TV that is connected to the cameras. I could not believe my eyes when I saw a fully grown leopard stalking in the chawl's narrow lanes," recalled Anand Kannan.
The leopard was spotted on camera at 3.48 am, right after Kannan had returned from answering nature's call. Without wasting any time, he immediately informed his neighbours about the animal's presence, and warned them to be more vigilant while stepping out the house. Another local had reportedly also spotted the big cat crossing the road before entering the chawl.
The leopard was spotted on camera at 3.48 am, when it chased after a dog and then returned empty-handed
While leopards are hardly new to Aarey, the residents were surprised to see the shy animal roaming in a human settlement that has a population of 1,000. Interestingly, the cameras caught the leopard chasing a dog in the lane. However, the canine was able to escape, and the leopard returned empty-handed.
Speaking to mid-day, Santosh Kank, range forest officer, said, "Our team members, including Forest Ranger Sameer Inamdar, visited the spot on the next day along with volunteers from Aarey. The locals have been informed about the dos and don'ts in case of an encounter with a leopard."
Locals show the spot where the leopard was spotted
Volunteers Rajesh Sanap and Kaushal Dubey cautioned the locals to ensure their children are not out alone. "It is good that the forest department team visited the spot and held a basic awareness drive. I also think that locals should keep the lights outside their houses switched on throughout the night," said Balamurugan Subramanian, another resident.
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