Forest department officials as well as residents of the Aarey Milk Colony are making all efforts to reunite a 2-month-old leopard cub, found in the vicinity on Tuesday, with its mother. The cub was placed in a basket but, authorities said, no leopard had approached it on Tuesday night. Besides, no sighting was recorded in the cameras installed near the site. The authorities will now make another attempt to reunite the cub with its mother on Wednesday night.
The leopard cub was spotted and rescued by residents from near the former Metro Car shed area in the Aarey Milk Colony on Tuesday evening.
The barking of dogs had alerted the residents. On inspecting the area, close to where the Metro car shed was to be located on the path to Tapeshwar temple, they spotted the cub, and alerted forest department officials, local police and volunteers. But before anyone could arrive, the local people, fearing an attack on the cub by the dogs, moved it to safety in a basket after sweeping the area clean for the adult leopard to arrive.
Talking to PTI, Sailesh Pethe, veterinarian and assistant commissioner (wildlife), Animal Husbandry department, said the cub is currently at a hospital inside the park and is being looked after. “Yesterday, we tried to reunite the cub with its mother. But she did not turn up at the place where the cub was found. Another attempt will be made this (Wednesday) evening,” he said.
The officers have installed cameras around the spot where the cub is placed in the basket to monitor its movement at night, and to ensure it is not attacked by any other animal.
Earlier this year, a leopard cub was found in a desolate godown in Powai. Initially, it was thought to be abandoned by the mother.
However, the camera trap in the area later revealed that the mother had dropped the young one off there for safekeeping. The cub sat there all day while its mother went out hunting, and returned to nurse it. Footage showed that the mother was visiting the cub regularly.
Last year, Maharashtra forest department’s longest-ever attempt of reuniting four leopard cubs with their mother over a period of 16 days had failed in Akola. The department had then relocated the abandoned 45-day-old cubs to the Gorewada rescue centre in Nagpur.