Mumbai: Leopard gives Powai residents a scare!

Updated: May 29, 2020, 07:40 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

The Thane Forest Department has set up a camera trap to verify its presence; attacks on protectors of wildlife and jungles continue with FD team targetted in Kalwa

Residents of the society say they spotted it on a wall around 5 pm. File pic
Residents of the society say they spotted it on a wall around 5 pm. File pic

It could be the lockdown effect, but if true, residents sighting a leopard in a Powai building complex in the evening recently, shows that wild animals are venturing out into the city even during the day.

The resident of Raheja Complex claimed to have spotted the leopard around 5 pm a couple of days back. Interestingly, the building complex is on the other side of the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road. To verify the presence of the leopard, the Thane Forest Department has installed a camera trap.
On Tuesday a resident of Raheja Vihar, Powai had tweeted, "A resident of Evening Glory building in Raheja Vihar, Powai, Mumbai spotted a leopard in one of the trees in the society garden. This is just a building away from mine! The resident clicked a photo but it's tough to spot the leopard in the trees. @MahaForest @MSgnp @AareyForest."

Three members of the Forest Department team who were attacked by encroachers in the forest area near Kalwa
Three members of the Forest Department team who were attacked by encroachers in the forest area near Kalwa

Another resident said, "While working from home at around 4:30-5:00pm, I saw something walking on the wall outside. Just out of curiosity to figure out whether it was a dog or something else, I looked from my window. I was surprised to see a leopard walking over the wall. It was confirmed by the long tail and the rosettes on the animal. I saw it for few seconds."

A team of forest officials from Thane visited the site and did a recce with volunteers.

Forest staff attacked

In another incident, staff of Thane forest division was attacked by anti-social elements at Kalwa, when they tried to stop illegal encroachment.

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Talking to mid-day Dr Jitendra Ramgaokar, deputy conservator of forest, Thane Forest Department (Territorial) said, "Our staff was on a regular patrol in the Reserve Forest, survey no 193, of Gholainagar, Kalwa when they saw new construction being carried out by a person. They requested the person to stop the work and tried to remove the brick work already made.

"The person along with his accomplices, suddenly started throwing stones and bricks at the patrolling team, consisting of foresters Arjun Nichite and Sameer Inamdar; forest guards Panchsheela Kamble, Suvarna Surnar, Yogita Wadhu, Janardan Bodekar and daily wage worker Sachin Mhatre. In the attack, three members of the team including the two foresters were injured. All the injured are being treated at Pramila hospital, Kalwa and their condition is stable and out of danger."

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"An FIR is being lodged against the accused at Kalwa police station. The encroachment shall also be removed soon with the help of police," Dr Ramgaokar said.

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