Mumbai: Two middle-aged women of a tribal hamlet in Goregaon’s Aarey Milk colony were injured in leopard attack on Saturday night. Both the women — Bayaji Bhimrao Phandare (50) and Asha Bai Gavit (55) — were rushed to nearby civic-run Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Center in Jogeshwari, where they are said to be out of danger. Both of them are the residents of Chafyachapada, one of the 27 tribal hamlets which lack basic civic amenities like electricity and roads.
“It was an accident. The leopard was chasing a stray dog when Phandare, who was on her way to pay nature’s call around 8pm on Saturday night, came between them. She was not the leopard’s target. Her left leg and hand were injured after the leopard swatted at her. Gavit, who rushed to rescue Phandare after she screamed for help, also got injured. She sustained minor bruises. By the time the neighbours reached the spot, the big cat had run away. The neighbours rushed both the injured women to a nearby hospital for immediate medical attention. Their condition is said to be out of danger,” Deputy Conservator of Forests (Thane) Jitendra Ramgaokar told the Free Press Journal.
He added that all the “medical expenses will be paid by the forest department, Thane”. “There are 27 hamlets and the residents are living in bad condition. We have raised the issue several times but still they have not got proper electricity and road. The visibility is also negligible. The local residents are facing this problem because there is severe lack of civic amenities like proper lighting. If we don’t provide them basic civic amenities, this problem will continue,” said Ramgaokar.
There were five leopard attacks in Aarey Milk Colony since March 2017. Out of which two were fatal. Ramgaokar said, “What will be the use of cameras if there is no adequate lights during night. Trap cameras have been installed. We have been doing this exercise for the last four years. At present around 10 cameras are placed and we keep tracking the animals. But most of areas remain dark during night.”