Mumbai: Search on to trap leopard at Andheri MIDC

Updated: 10 August, 2020 09:02 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Forest Department officials visited a non-operational factory near the building where the leopard might have taken refuge and installed trap cages

Forest officials install traps to catch the leopard. Pic/Satej Shinde
Forest officials install traps to catch the leopard. Pic/Satej Shinde

A full-grown leopard was spotted in a residential building in MIDC Andheri East two kilometres from Aarey Colony on Sunday. Forest Department officials visited a non-operational factory near the building where the leopard might have taken refuge and installed trap cages.

Early Sunday morning, a security guard saw the leopard jumping the boundary wall of the building adjacent to a non-functional industrial unit. He informed his colleagues, the Thane Forest Department (Territorial) and the MIDC police station.

By 8.30 am, the news about the leopard sighting spread and people started gathering near the building it was spotted at. The Thane Forest Department team and Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) Leopard Rescue team along with Deputy Conservator of Forest Dr Jitendra Ramgaokar, SGNP Veterinary Officer Shailesh Pethe, Honorary Wildlife Warden of Mumbai Mayur Kamath, Honorary Wildlife Warden of Thane Pawan Sharma, Wildlife Biologist Nikit Surve and the team of volunteers from Aarey reached the spot and a recce of the area was done to prepare a strategy.

Ramgaokar told mid-day, "On Sunday morning, we got a call about the leopard sighting in MIDC area after which we and an SGNP Leopard rescue team reached the spot and spoke to the person who said he spotted the leopard. There's a non-operational factory next to the building where the leopard was spotted. We have installed trap cages and camera traps to track the activity of the leopard and would appeal to people to not panic. If they spot a leopard they should not provoke the animal and report it to the Forest Department."

The forest department team and local residents are surprised by the leopard sighting in the MIDC area as there is no forested patch nearby. The only green patch is the Mahakali caves area and Aarey is two kilometres away.

In December 2012, a full-grown leopard was rescued from SEEPZ area and released back to SGNP.

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First Published: 10 August, 2020 08:20 IST

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