A CCTV camera captured the footage of a leopard crossing the street in Mumbai’s Mulund (W) area during the wee hours of Sunday, causing panic among the residents of a nearby housing society.
The young leopard was spotted by residents crossing the street around 2 am near Redwood Society Garden, which is located in the vicinity of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).
They alerted the forest department after viewing the CCTV camera footage, which had captured the animal’s movement.
Sunil Limaye, chief conservator of Thane forest department, confirmed the leopard’s spotting, and urged residents to refrain from panicking as it was a common occurrence in the area.
Some officials were also sent to the society to pacify the residents.
Limaye also stressed that a spotting does not necessarily imply that the animal needs to be caught. Having said that, citizens can still inform the department on the 24-hour helpline (1926) anytime they spot the wild cat.
Meanwhile, a team from Thane forest department is already working on creating awareness among residents about ‘living with leopards’, for which they will be visiting the nearby residential complexes this week.
Incidentally, depsite the common sightings, there have been no reported encounters with humans.
“Leopards usually come out at night in search of food. As far as humans are concerned, there is no threat unless they are unnecessarily provoked,” said Vaibhav Jain, a member of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
“Since we have taken over a part of their natural habitat and converted into a concrete jungle, the least we can do is learn to live with them. If there is any risk involved, the forest department officials are always ready to catch and relocate them,” he added.
In the last two months, there have been two other leopard sightings in the city, one at Aarey Colony in December and the other at Hiranandani, Powai in November.Back to latest news