Residents of Yashodham complex in Dindoshi area of Goregaon (east) of Mumbai woke up to the news of a leopard moving in their area in the wee hours of Thursday, after a footage from CCTV became viral on social media.
Spotting of a leopard in this complex had made headlines in May 2011, when it had entered the bungalow of actress MP Hema Malini who was not present in Mumbai during that time. However the leopard escaped into the Aarey area from behind the bungalow even as forest department carried out search.
The residential area, which mainly consists of bungalows is not new to leopards being spotted as not only residents but also forest officials from Thane territorial confirmed that they receive information of leopards moving late night in search of dogs, however no attacks on humans has ever been reported from the area.
The video captured from a CCTV camera installed at the gate of a bungalow on January 11 shows a security guard who happens to catch a glimpse of a big cat sprinting behind him. However seconds later he picks up a stick and starts to walking towards the wall where the leopard moved. It’s the reaction of the security guards that has now prompted the forest department to hold an awareness session for the residents as well as security guards to inform them basic do’s and don’t’s incase a leopard is spotted.
Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Thane Forest said , “After receiving information about the leopard sighting in Yashodham and the video becoming viral, we have intensified the patrolling in the area. We generally inform people never to try and chase or try to corner a leopard incase its spotted as it can lead to a conflict situation as leopards try to avoid human and escape into forest areas,” he said adding that they will soon organise an awareness session in the area.
A local resident requesting anonymity said that this area behind Yashodham connects with a forested patch from Aarey and leopards have been occasionally spotted in the area. “The bungalow owners should seek help from forest department and ensure every security guard is trained as most of them sit out on the roads. However though most of the people know that at times leopards move in this area, the viral video has created some amount of fear in people,” said the resident.
A forest official said that if one watches the video closely it also shows how the leopards avoid humans. “The video clearly shows that the leopard saw the security guard and immediately changed his direction and paced towards the wall to escape. He neither attacked nor even came close to him as leopards try their best to avoid humans at any cost and most attacks happen incase of defence or after its cornered,” said the official.
Article Type: Report Sections: Mumbai India Authors: Virat A Singh Agencies: undefined Tags: Goregaon Hema Malini Leopard Sat, 13 Jan 2018-12:26am Date updated: Saturday, 13 January 2018 - 12:38am Article Images:
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