Navi Mumbai: 40 forest department officials, drone looking for Taloja leopard
According to the officials, they have found pug marks of the leopard in the Taloja MIDC area. The sighting of the leopard in the area had raised eyebrows of those living in the area.
After news of the sighting of a leopard near a factory at Taloja, Navi Mumbai, on November 20, forest department officials have been desperately searching for the wild cat. Around 40 officials have been roaming the 18-acre area on foot and are also using a drone in their search. A few NGOs, too, have joined the search, forest department officials said.
According to the officials, they have found pug marks of the leopard in the Taloja MIDC area. The sighting of the leopard in the area had raised eyebrows of those living in the area. Many villagers have insisted that the news of the sighting was only a rumour as there has been no history of leopard sightings or presence in the area. In the footage that has gone viral, the leopard can be clearly seen strolling about on the premises of the factory.
Forest department officials feel that the leopard could have strayed into the area from the Karnala bird sanctuary. Panvel range forest official D Sonawane said, "After we learnt about the leopard sighting, we went to the spot and conducted an extensive search in the area. We did find the animal's pug marks there. The very next day, we formed four teams of 10 people each and roped in some members of animal NGOs to search for the leopard. The area that the animal can roam in is around 18 acres and our teams went to every corner of the property but could not find it."
He added, "We have now decided to search for the leopard with the help of a drone. We haven't seen any activity by it so far, but we have to be alert if he is still around the area. For the next few days we will keep a sharp eye out for it. The leopard must have come from the Matheran hills."
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