Mumbai: Resident spots leopard, two cubs at Aarey Colony
Says their presence very much proves Aarey is a forest patch that the big cats use for giving birth
Even as the debate whether or not Aarey is a forest goes on, a nature lover has documented the presence of wildlife in the area. Satish Lot, an Aarey resident, spotted a leopard with her two sub-adult cubs on Friday night and was able to photograph one of them before they disappeared into the green patch.
"I was returning home around 9-9.30 pm along with my friend on Friday when I saw three leopards near the bushes. I always carry a camera and a torch with me, so I quickly took the camera out my bag to record this important evidence [of wildlife presence]. But the mother leopard and one cub ran into the forest patch by then, but the other cub stood there staring at the camera as I recorded it," Lot said.
He said the sighting highlights the fact that Aarey Milk Colony is also a rich forest patch, which female leopards frequent to give birth. This also proves that Aarey has a resident leopard population, so protecting their habitat is important, he added. A few days back, another person, associated with the Save Aarey movement, had also spotted a leopard at Aarey during a morning walk.
The sighting was recorded the same week an expert committee visited the Metro car shed site. The four-member panel was formed on December 9 by the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to find alternatives for the car shed while staying the construction work at Aarey. It was given two weeks' time to submit its report, but the members have said they will seek an extension of deadline. A member told mid-day, "We have already visited the Aarey car shed site and other probable alternatives and working on the report. Meanwhile, we have requested for an extension to submit the report."
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