Mumbai: Lost leopard causes mayhem, injures five in Mulund
The disoriented cat attacked five people before it was cornered in a flat, tranquilised and taken to SGNP
The rescue team reacted quickly and cornered the cat. Pic/Rajesh Gupta
A leopard, which is believed to have lost its way and reached Nane Pada in Mulund East, which is around three to four kilometres away from the forested patch, injured five people on Saturday. It was only the presence of the mind shown by the forest department's leopard rescue team and the volunteers that helped prevent further conflict in the high human density area.
On Saturday morning, at around 7-7.20 am, the leopard attacked five people before it was locked in a flat and tranquilised by the rescue team. Honorary Wildlife Warden Sunish Suburamanian Kunju, Honorary Wildlife Warden Pawan Sharma and Honorary Wildlife Warden Mayur Kamath along with other volunteers were present at the spot to control the situation. Speaking to mid-day, Pawan Sharma said, "The rescue operation was four hours long. The five people attacked were sent to the civic hospital."
After the distress call came at around 7 am, the rescue team was dispatched. At around 8 am, the rescue team reached the spot and first directed the police to control the mob. Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Thane (Territorial), along with Range Forest Officer Santosh Kank, RFO Shailesh Deore and SGNP Veterinary Officer Shailesh Pethe, along with his team, were at the spot. "The animal came out of the flat after ten minutes and was about to charge at the mob. But the rescue team and the volunteers stood their ground, and hence, it went back inside," added Sharma.
In order to prevent any further conflict, the volunteers along with the police, evacuated people and secured some space to work. A team was coordinating with the police in crowd management and another team did a quick survey of the area to learn the entry and exit points. Dr Shailesh Pethe said, "We are happy that due to the efforts taken by everyone, we were able to safely rescue the leopard. We successfully tranquilised it and it was taken to SGNP. The male leopard appears to be fit and is around five years old. We have kept the animal in isolation and will be monitoring his health."
Eyewitness Kavita Basitker said, "My husband was trying to enter a toilet outside our house when suddenly a leopard came running from the other end and attacked him. He was injured on the face." After injuring Bastikar, the leopard ran towards a narrow lane and took refuge between the passage of the toilet on the ground floor of the building.
Another resident Niten More, said, "At around 7.10 am, our door was open and Sunita Sonawane, who had gone inside the toilet, came out and the leopard that was sitting in the dark passage attacked her. We are thankful that the animal did not enter our home as there were small children and others who were sleeping."