Mumbai: In a massive relief to the residents living in and around Aarey Colony, a leopard, which had ransacked the area and was responsible for four attacks and a death — all involving children — was finally trapped in the early hours of Thursday morning. This gigantic exercise was undertaken by efforts of wildlife experts, volunteers and the Thane forest department and it took around 54 days to complete the task.
The three-year-old leopard, which was escaping trap cages for over two months, was finally trapped in Filmcity, Goregaon. Incidentally, the trap cage was set up at the site on September 13 (Wednesday) after a team of researchers managed to spot and follow the leopard for the first time on September 12 and undertook the operation of capturing the wild creature.
Wildlife Warden, Mumbai Suburbs Mayur Kamath told DNA, “While we were patrolling the area in our vehicle, this leopard crossed our path. Even as we began following it, the big cat remained unflustered. To our luck, we were able to confirm that it was the same leopard suspected behind all the attacks based on the camera trap images.”
Dr Jitendra Ramgaokar, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Thane forest said that the big cat has been shifted to Sanjay Gandhi National Park. “After a thorough medical check-up and discussions with experts, we will decide whether it should be released or kept captive,” he told DNA.