A 14-year-old boy was grievously injured on his head and neck after a leopard attacked him in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony yesterday night.
This is the seventh instance of a leopard attacking humans in the Aarey since August 31. On September 30, a 19-year-old youth, identified as Rajesh Rawat, a resident of Santosh Nagar in Goregaon, was the sixth victim of a leopard attack at Aarey.
Before that, there had been five attacks, including those on a four-year-old on September 26 and a woman, Nirmala Devi, on September 29.
In this video, a leopard is seen attempting to attack passerbys who were on a scooter and were passing through a dim stretch in Aarey Colony at night.
Following the September 29 incident, forest officers had set up and activated four cage traps to catch the female sub-adult leopard involved in the attack.
On October 1, a leopard walked into the cage and was trapped. However, the forest officers subsequently confirmed that it was not the leopard they had been looking for.
When researchers matched the leopard’s rosette pattern (imprints/patterns unique to each leopard, like human fingerprints) with pictures of the animal on an attacking spree captured in the camera traps this week, it was clear that the one that had walked into the cage was not the same as the animal responsible for the recent attacks.
Sources from the forest department said the trapped leopard has been kept in a cage at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the state forest department is mulling the feasibility of radio-collaring her.
So far, there has been no luck at trapping the leopard involved in the attacks, considering that a fresh attack was reported late on Friday. “We have still kept the trap cages activated. Initiatives like patrolling, awareness programmes etc. are already being followed by us to prevent and help people understand the animal attacks and thereby keep themselves safe,” said a forest officer.
(With inputs from Dipti Singh)