Leopard on the prowl in Goregaon, Mulund
Simit Bhagat, TNN, Jul 22, 2010, 12.17am IST
MUMBAI: Residents of New MHADA Colony, Goregaon (E) have been hosting an unusual guest these days. For the past few weeks, a leopard has been regularly straying into the residential area, hunting for stray dogs.
On Monday, the leopard entered Sankalp Siddhi society, Dindoshi, on the periphery of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), and was spotted sitting near the compound wall at 2 am.
Residents said the watchman, Jamil S, first spotted the leopard and alerted them. It was around 2 am that I saw the leopard in the lane near the society. I immediately alerted one of the society members, who was standing right besides me, Jamil said.
The leopard was sitting near the lane for more than couple of hours. Amit Lotlikar, a nature lover and resident of Sankalp Siddhi Society said, This is not the first time the leopard has been spotted in the area. We have been spotting the big cat along with its three cubs for nearly one year. It seems to be injured and is limping.
Interestingly, on Sunday, another leopard was spotted by a group of residents in Rock Garden society in Yogi Hills, Mulund around 9 pm. There too, the cat was first spotted by the watchman of the society, who warned residents not to step out of their homes. The residents immediately informed the police control room and the cops reached the site quickly, but by then the leopard had vanished into the forest.
However, people living in these areas are now living under the fear of moving out of their homes late in the evening.
As Suresh Rajyaguru, chairman of Sankalp Siddhi society said, These days the big cat has been straying into the area a bit too regularly. It is scary.
Animal Vs Man
l Between 2001 and 2004, there were 89 incidents of leopard attacks on humans. But that has come down drastically. In 2007 and 2008, there were only one and two injuries respectively to humans due to leopard attacks
l The forest department trapped around 22 leopards in areas like Powai, Aarey Colony, Borivli and Thane in
2004-2005, and shifted them to other forest areas in Maharashtra. It also carried out awareness drives among locals and ran a mobile squad for regular patrols to monitor animal movements
l Though attacks on humans have come down, sightings of the big cat in peripheral areas of the SGNP have gone up. In February 2010, a leopard was spotted on two days by security guards of Siddhachal Phase VI Complex in Thane. Earlier, in November 2008, a leopard was spotted at a factory in Kolshet area of Kapurbawadi in Thane