Indore: Wild animals are seen catching up the trend #animalscrossingnewhorizons seen internationally and are making their way into the city. In the recent spotting, a leopard has made his new home in Ralamandal Sanctuary.
The leopard was first spotted on Saturday on the top of a hill. However, it was assumed to be a guest for the weekend or just a mirage. But the leopard is now trending on the installed cameras, making its mark and setting a new record for the sanctuary.
Sharing details about the leopard, forest ranger Pushplata Mourya said, “We saw movement of a leopard on Sunday at the top of the hill, which was interesting.” She added that the leopard was again spotted on the bottom of the hill by one of the forest workers.
“Now, from today, we can clearly spot the leopard on CCTV, where it is seen roaming around the hill,” Pushplata said.
While it is great news to have a leopard living in the sanctuary as it is built for wild animals, there is a lurking danger for tourists now.
Ralamandal sanctuary was open for tourists from October 1. Following all protocols, tourists were allowed in the campus to visit and witness the wildlife in its natural habitat.
The sanctuary attracts large of number of tourists especially morning walkers and hikers on a daily basis.
Now due to presence of the leopard, the protocol of social distancing has to be changed to forming and staying in groups. “A leopard like other wild cats are swift and tend to attack swiftly if he spots a human or animal in seclusion,” Pushplata said.
To ensure that tourists are safeguarded and aware about the leopard, forest department is taking several measures. “We have reduced the visiting hours temporarily to ensure that tourists do not visit in non-peak hours and remain in groups,” Pushplata said.
The visiting hours earlier were 8 am to 6 pm, which have now been cut down to 11 am to 4 pm.
Tourists are warned about the leopard and suggested to stay in groups on entry. “We have put up warning boards alerting visitors about the leopard and requisite precautions all over the sanctuary,” Pushplata said.
Trap set at Treasure Fantasy township
Recently, residents of Treasure Fantasy altered forest department about the spotting of a leopard in their township. To avert any such possibility, the department had installed trap in the township.
“There was no video, an audio was recorded by the residents but it’s not very clear,” Pushplata said. She added that the trap was set considering the safety of residents.
“We did not find any pug marks and the marks sent by residents seemed more of a hyena than a leopard,” Pushplata said.