Within two months, residents of the Panvel area spotted a leopard roaming in the residential area. The forest department has increased the patrolling and also sensitizing residents about precautions to be taken.
The Panvel area is surrounded by forest and with the development of the area, wildlife animals are often found in residential areas. While no one came in close contact with any leopard, the Forest Department of Panvel regional is taking all necessary precautions.
According to Forest Department, a watchman claimed to have spotted two leopards roaming during the night in the residential area near Wakadi village.
Dnyaneshwar Sonavne, range forest officer (RFO) of Panvel region said, “The watchman who works at a farmhouse, informed us that he spotted two leopards roaming outside the farmhouse on Sunday night. We are now searching for the animals in the nearby forests.” While the leopards were not captured by any CCTV camera in that area, the forest department has increased patrolling. “We have asked locals to be careful and do not step out of their homes during late-night alone,” said Sonawane.
In September too, two residents of Nere village at Panvel had claimed to have spotted a leopard. The distance between both the villages is around 6 km.
“We know that leopards are there in the hills of Matheran and sometimes they come out to the cities. But we have not spotted leopards in the forest of Panvel in the past several years,” Sonavne said.
Pawan Sharma from RAWW said that there could be multiple reasons why leopards are roaming in residential areas. “We need to study to find out the exact reasons,” said Sharma, adding that leopard is a clever animal, and many times female leopards search for safe places for their cubs. However, there might be other reasons and need a thorough study like CCTV footage, footmarks among others.
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