Woman mauled by leopard in Aarey colony

Jan 07, 2013, 07:17 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

The big cat pounced on her while she was on her haunches near a hand pump just 300 metres away from her residence

A woman was mauled by a leopard at a tribal settlement in Aarey colony yesterday evening. This is the second such attack in 10 days. Savita Varte, a resident of Khabyachapada, was attacked while she had gone to fetch water near her house.

“The incident took place around 7 pm when Varte had gone to fetch water from the hand pump 300 metres away from her house. The leopard attacked while she was sitting at the pump,” a resident of Khabyachapada said. Immediately after the attack, the lady was rushed to Bhagwati hospital and will be released today.

Khabyachapada comes under the jurisdiction of the Thane Forest Department. However, the officials had not reached the site even after two hours. The SGNP rescue team, led by Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Sachin Repal and Sanjay Pagare, reached the location and were working on catching the leopard. However, the Thane Forest Department will soon be setting up a trap to catch the leopard at the location of the attack.

Such attacks are becoming common in the area. Adding to the fear is the fact that there are non-functional street lamps that make it difficult to figure out if a big cat is lurking nearby. Last week, one Vinod Ramji Hadal (19) a resident of Maroshipada in Aarey colony, was injured after a leopard attacked him while he was answering nature’s call just a few feet away from his house.

This is the fourth case in the last seven months when a leopard has attacked a person in the crouching position. It should be noted that this is the same place where an old women was killed in a leopard attack two months back. Soon after the attack, a cage was set in the area by the Thane Forest Department and three leopards were trapped and taken to the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at SGNP. On December 30, a half-eaten corpse of a woman was found in the forest area in Bhandup, from what locals believed to be a leopard attack.

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