Despite spending a night camping near the Sohna Tourist Complex, a team of officials from the forest department returned empty-handed on Tuesday afternoon, after their search for a leopard that was reportedly spotted in the area failed to yield results.
Residents of Thakur Wara village in Sohna claimed they had spotted the animal on the road leading up to the Sohna hills on Monday evening. They alerted police, who, in turn, alerted the forest department. The residents of the village, meanwhile, locked themselves inside their homes.
“We received a call about the sighting around 8 pm on Monday, and immediately sent a five-member team to the spot to confirm the information and take necessary action,” said Vinod Kumar, Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Gurgaon.
According to Kumar, the team was unable to track down the animal, or find any signs of its whereabouts. However, as a “precautionary measure”, the team remained in the vicinity through the night. “But the leopard was not seen again. No pug marks or other indications confirming its presence were found either,” said Kumar. Only three days earlier, a leopard had entered the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar, with officials taking 36 hours to finally tranquillise and capture the animal.
The Sohna area is not unfamiliar with the animal — with a leopard having wandered into Mandawar village, located only 14 km away, last November.