A leopard has been sighted in and around Bavda village in Dahanu taluka for a week. Villagers say it has preyed on pets and poultry as its soft target . As a precautionary measure, the Zilla Parishad (ZP) primary school has been temporarily closed to avoid untoward incidence and the villagers have been asked to take precautionary measures to avoid animal-to-human conflict.
The Kanikpada and Dhodipada residents in Bavda village have been sighting the leopard almost every day for the last three-four days. The leopard was first spotted on July 9 when two youths who were grazing their flock of sheep came face-to-face with the animal.
Big cat leaves its deathly marks
The pug marks of the leopard are regularly seen in the vicinity of both the localities of the Bavda village. Livestock, pets and poultry are its prey. Bearing the threat of the leopard in mind, the school management committee decided to keep the ZP primary school situated at Kanikpada closed. People especially children living in this locality are advised not to go out in the evening and at night to avoid being attacked by the leopard.
Camera traps installed to capture the leopard's movements
The Range Forest Officer (RFO) of Boisar, Apekasha Satam confirmed the presence of the leopard in Bavda village. She said that camera traps have been laid to capture the movement of the wild animal. However, the leopard was neither spotted by the forest guards nor seen in the cameras. The forest guards are on 24-hour vigil and have been asked to rush to help the locals if any emergency arises.