WAGHACHI WADI, a village in Murbad, Thane, wears a worried hush as over the last three days, a leopard has killed two villagers.
Mirabai Vare (54) was killed at 6 pm on Sunday and Barku Bhau Bhoir (52), who was a resident of Sonavale village in Murbad, Tokawade south range, was killed by the same leopard a day before.
Forest officials said the matter was discussed with the chief wildlife warden and a team from Sanjay Gandhi National Park has been dispatched to trap the leopard.
“The situation has taken a serious turn. The leopard is aggressive and not used to natural hunting. Our forest officers have been trying to trap it but it has been avoiding the cages,” said K P Singh, chief conservator of forests, Thane. He added that the Thane division had received permission from the chief wildlife warden to take any means necessary to stop the attacks.
“We have been told to trap the leopard by tranquilising it but if that doesn’t work, we may have to shoot the animal,” said Singh.
According to officials from the Thane forest range, Mirabai was in the rice fields adjacent to a forest.
“The leopard was hiding in the fields. Owing to the fading evening light, she did not notice the cat,” said Kishore Thakre, assistant conservator of forest, Thane. The big cat pounced on her and killed her. Her body was dragged over 100 metres from the area where she was attacked.