Thane forest officials rescued a leopard who was reportedly ill following the primary medical examination carried by the forest department officials from the Yeoor forest area of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), in Thane.
Following the alert call from the locals about sighting a leopard suspected to be injured at the Yeoor Hill, the forest department team reached the spot and carried out the search operations on Tuesday evening hours.
"According to the locals, they spotted the leopard behind the Light House hotel in the Yeoor area. The leopard was noticed to be weak while traveling through the forest area by taking a number of halts in between. On the basis of this information, the forest officials began with the search operation. However, after a few hours, the operation was called off due to the darkness as it could have lead to more risk in forest area," said a senior official from Yeoor forest range of SGNP.
The operation continued the next day by both securing the medical team of the forest department. On Wednesday, the operation began at 8 am. After an hour, the leopard was spotted by the officials who were present with the medical equipment to treat the animal suspected to be injured.
"The leopard was spotted taking shelter of one of the trees, who was trying to escape after experiencing the presence of officials around. However, it was noticed that the leopard was stopping and sitting between frequently after moving ahead a few steps. After chasing him continuously the animal was safely caught by tranquilising it, carrying the primary medical examination, by a veterinarian from SGNP," said Rajendra Pawar, range forest officer, Yeoor range of SGNP.
"The medical examination disclosed the leopard (male) who is around 2 years was not injured but was going through serious illness due to lack of food for the past many days. The leopard has been now kept under medical observation, following further treatment at Borivali SGNP area," added the official.
According to the expert and animal activists from Thane, for 2-3 months there was a sighting of a leopard around the air force area and it also killed a dog. Hence, it is suspected to be the same leopard.