Mumbai: Humans are feeling the impact of encroaching on animal land. On Monday night, a five-year-old boy had a miraculous escape when a leopard pounced on him in the Goregaon East area. The boy, from Aarey Colony’s Kelki Pada area, suffered injuries on his back, but his mother, Pramila, managed to scare away the animal with stones and loud cries for help.
The boy was immediately taken to Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Care Municipal Hospital in Jogeshwari (East) where doctors discharged him after administering first aid. “Three stitches were required on his left knee, but he is out of danger,” said local resident Uday Sadashiv Sangale.
On Tuesday morning, forest department officials surveyed the area and have installed camera traps to study the movement of the leopard.
“We have conducted panchnama of the area and recorded the statements of the victim’s parents. They were demanding compensation from the forest department. But the area comes under the jurisdiction of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). It is one of the prime locations of Mumbai but there is no street light on the stretch,” Round Forest Officer Sameer Inamdar told Free Press Journal, adding, “There are no toilets in
the area. The incident happened when the boy followed his mother going to relieve herself.” But the problem is more deep-rooted in the areas —Goregaon to Borivili on the western side and Ghatkopar to Mulund on the central side — around Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Slums have been built on forest land and their residents have to go into the jungle to relieve themselves.
There have been at least 176 attacks by animals in the region between 1991 and 2013. On January 26, 2013, a 9-year-old boy was mauled to death by a leopard inside the forest.