The leopard trapped in one the four cages that were set up and activated at Unit 3 of Aarey Milk Colony early on Friday morning, a sub-adult female, may be the same feline that attacked at least six people in the area, according to forest officers.
Round Forest Officer Narayan Mane confirmed the development and said that the animal was found trapped at 6am, when his team went for an inspection.
She was taken to the rescue centre at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, where veterinary officers were expected to run tests to determine if it was the same animal that had attacked and injured several people in Aarey. Roseate patterns on the leopard’s body would be examined by experts to determine if she was the attacker.
Mane informed that the trapped leopard was taken away from Aarey Colony around 7.30am and was treated for minor wounds. “Yes, it is suspected to be the same one that attacked the woman and was captured in the CCTV footage. But we need to check the footage captured in camera traps and other evidence to confirm the same. Once she is treated and tests are conducted, the further course of action will be determined,” said Mane, refusing to divulge further information.
Gajendra Hire, deputy conservator of forests, Thane, said: “A sub-adult female leopard of around two years of age walked into the trap on Friday morning. Even though she is suspected to be involved in the series of attacks, we need more clarity to determine if it is the same one. It is very difficult to say anything at this time, we are awaiting test reports.”
The leopard has attacked six people since August 31, including two children aged four and ten. In the last three days, she had attacked a 55-year-old woman sitting outside her home at the Visava Workers Colony on Wednesday while the latest attack was at Aarey Colony Unit 7 on Thursday night. A 19-year-old boy, Rajesh Rawat, a resident of Santosh Nagar, Goregaon east, was attacked as he was returning home after dropping his friend. Rawat was rushed to the HBT Trauma Hospital at Jogeshwari and is said to be stable now.
After Rawat was attacked on Thursday night, residents staged a protest near Filmcity against the forest department. Forest authorities had then assured them that necessary steps were being taken to trap the predator.
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