Footage of a leopard, claimed to be from a CCTV installed near the boundary wall of a housing complex on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, has caused both alarm about human safety and concern about decreasing habitat for the animals. According to a post on X (formerly Twitter), the images are from the boundary wall of Oberoi Splendour housing complex and are from the night of February 7.
Leopard sightings are common in the areas surrounding the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) which has a population of over 20 leopards in its 104 square kilometres – the highest leopard density anywhere in the world, according to study released in May 2023 by the Maharashtra forest department and the Wildlife Conservations Society (India). Another study, done by the same organisations, said that leopards utilise available food resources – in this case, domestic dogs - found along the periphery of the forest. Domestic dogs formed almost a third of the diet of SGNP’s leopards, the study said.
The post attracted comments from people who reminded others that construction in Mumbai was reducing the natural space for wild animals. “So sad that we Mumbaikars are just going behind money and building houses of wild animals,” said one respondent.
“Nothing new, all this development around Aarey and SNGP is in the leopard territory,” said another reply.