Mumbai: The leopard that caused havoc in Kalyan last week and injured three persons, most likely sneaked into a vegetable truck from Nashik, locals suspect.
After rescuing the animal last week, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) concluded that the adult male leopard was unidentified and was not in the records of the park.
A local vegetable vendor, who drives his truck from Nashik to Mumbai twice a week, said that on the day of the incident he had travelled from Nashik early in the morning. Locals said the leopard was seen near the incident spot, which has several shops and residential apartments, and that it wasn’t spotted anywhere further away.
“It is highly likely that it must’ve come hiding inside a truck. There are several leopards in certain areas in Nashik and they do tend to jump into vegetable or fruit trucks. When the vehicle starts moving, due to motion sickness they remain still and hump out whenever the vehicle halts,” said Pawan Sharma, founder of the Resqink Association of Wildlife Welfare (RAWW). He said there have been similar cases earlier as well.
The leopard is currently kept in confinement at SGNP and a chip will be installed in its tail to track it in the future. According to the park, if the animal is well behaved, it might be released back into the wild.
The leopard had ventured into the busy Chinchpada area of Kalyan last Thursday morning and attacked and injured three people, including one SGNP worker. The forest department officials who rushed to the spot, trapped the animal after 10 hours of a joint operation with the local police.
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