Mumbai: Leopard Skin & Nails Dumped In Lake In Aarey Forest; Probe Launched

Mumbai: Leopard Skin & Nails Dumped In Lake In Aarey Forest; Probe Launched

The department is going through the existing database of leopards of Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey as a part of the probe.

Megha KuchikUpdated: Monday, January 01, 2024, 02:34 PM IST
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Mumbai: Leopard Skin & Nails Dumped In Lake In Aarey Forest; Probe Launched |

Mumbai: Parts of leopard skin and nails were found dumped near a lake in the Aarey forest, an official said on Sunday. A worker found parts of leopard skin and nails wrapped in a cloth near the lake on the Marol section of the forest on Saturday morning, and promptly alerted the relevant authorities, the official said.

Pawan Sharma, founder and president of the Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) and an honorary wildlife warden collaborating with the forest department, expressed concern over the discovery. He said it likely pointed towards either poaching activities or illicit trade in wildlife, necessitating immediate action.

FPJ

Investigation Underway In The Matter

“The leopard skin and nails appear to be either decomposed or aged, as confirmed by the forest department. In the Garden Lake area of Aarey Colony, a gardener discovered the skin and nails, some of which were wrapped in cloth and discarded near the water. Upon finding these items, he reported the discovery to the Aarey police, who subsequently handed them over to the forest department. As of now, there’s no indication that someone attempted to sell these items. An initial investigation has commenced, and appropriate action will follow,” he said. In the course of their inquiry, officials will examine the existing leopard database associated with both the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the Aarey forest regions.

Highlighting the ecological importance of leopards in Mumbai, Sharma emphasised their status as primary predator species. Underlining their significance, he pointed out that leopards enjoy the utmost protection, being categorised under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

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