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Watch | Leopard enters building, caught after 10 hrs; 3 hurt

The big cat sneaked into the premises of Anugrah Tower on Chinchpada Road in the morning, leaving panicked residents to call in forest department and police personnel.

An injured man being resuced from the building in Kalyan East on Thursday. (Express photo by Deepak Joshi)

Three persons, including a forest officer, were injured in an attack by an adult male leopard that entered a residential building at Chichpada in Kalyan (East) on Thursday morning. It took forest officials nearly 10 hours to locate and tranquilise the animal, before transporting it to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).

Two of the injured, Manohar Gaikwad and Rajiv Pandey, are residents of the building Shreeram Anugraha Housing Society. Forest official Dinesh Gupta was attacked while he was taking part in the search and rescue operation.

Local residents said the leopard was first spotted around 8 am and it kept roaming in and around the society premises.

Kiran Gupta, a resident of the building, claimed this was the first time that a leopard was spotted in a residential neighborhood in Kalyan.

“Some of our neighbors raised an alarm in the morning that they have spotted a leopard. Initially, we thought that it’s a rumor, but then we learnt that Rajiv has been attacked,” Gupta said, adding that animal kept moving between A and B wings of the building.

Forest officials reached the spot around 10 am, following which the entire building was sealed. The residents who were inside were told to stay indoors, while those outside were not allowed to enter their houses.

On Thursday morning, videos and pictures of the animal surfaced on social media. In one such video, the leopard was seen peeping from one of the windows of the building. Forest officials said that these videos were shot when the animal was inside the A wing.

“I locked myself inside our flat, along with my family members… The leopard came to my door and sat for 20 minutes and then left through the stairs. Between 11 am and 1 pm, I had spotted the animal at least four times,” Gupta said.

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Forest officials said that they were able to tranquilise the animal only after 6 pm and since it infiltrated a residential building, the operation became more difficult.

“Since the animal was moving around, we had to corner it first. We closed all the entry and exit points, following which forest officials entered the building. Then we were able to give the tranquiliser shot and bring the animal out,” said Santosh Sasthe, Deputy Conservator (Wildlife).

Pawan Sharma, honorary wildlife warden and president of Resqink Association of Wildlife Welfare, who was present during the operation, said that forest officials will now match the DNA of the animal to check if it is a new leopard that has migrated to this territory.

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“The animal is being transported to SGNP, following which, we will carry out tests to find out if the DNA of the leopard is in the database of the forest department. If its not, we will understand that this is a new animal that has migrated. Right now, we think that the leopard is above three years old,” he added.

First published on: 24-11-2022 at 05:42:34 pm
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