NASHIK: The frequent sighting of leopards in urban areas has instilled fear among residents and is becoming a cause of worry for farmers. Even though leopards enter urban areas and farms searching for food and water, their presence leads to human-leopard conflict. Pet dogs are the most commonly attacked species by leopards, and sometimes, even humans fall prey to them. In the past four days, the district has witnessed the trapping of four leopards, inclusive of the east and west division.
A leopard was trapped in the cage set up by the Forest Department in Satyawan Kangane’s field, Donwade village, near Bhagur. On Monday morning (12th July), when residents witnessed the trapped leopard, they informed the department immediately. The leopard had hunted one of the residents’ pet dog a few days ago and many livestock from the farms. Farmers of Donwadi and Rahuri villages spotted the leopard many times in the past year and were in a state of panic.
On their insistence, the Forest Department set up a cage and were successful in their mission. The leopard will be released into its natural habitat as per the orders of senior police officials. According to reports, the residents have alleged presence of 2 to 3 leopards in the Donwadi-Rahuri stretch, near the Darna river. As Chandrakant Kasar lost his pet dog to a leopard, the Forest Department had put a cage in his house’s backyard after Kasar requested them for the same.
As informed by Vivek Bhadane, RFO, the department had set up a cage at Mauje Chunchale, Sinnar, following frequent sightings of leopard and attacks on pet dogs. The leopard was trapped yesterday morning in block no.85, in front of Mrs. Shela Jayantrao Megde’s residence.
Niphad Taluka: Two female leopards trapped in the same cage
In a rare incident, two female leopards were trapped in the same cage set up by the Forest Department, in Wadali village, Niphad taluka, on Sunday night (11th July). Following frequent leopard sightings, the department had set up a cage a week ago in a sugarcane field, 15 km away from the Niphad tehsil town. Both females are around the age of 2 years and will be released into their natural habitat after completing the formalities.
The incident happened around midnight (July 14th) when the leopard attacked the pet dog at Dnyaneshwar Gaikwad’s pottery in Ranmala, Dattadham area of Gangapur Shivar. The frequent attacks on pet dogs have created a stir in the area, and residents have demanded the forest department to set up a cage for the predator.
When the forest department inspected the place, they found the leopard’s footprints in the area. Gaikwad owns pottery at Ranmala, and even though it is shut at present, almost 10-12 workers reside near the pottery. They have small children and goats too. The presence of the carnivore has instilled fear among them. On the 14th night, Sampat Rokade, one of the residents, sighted the leopard around midnight.
He witnessed two leopards attacking his pet dog. He shouted, but the leopards took away the dog with them. As Gaikwad informed the forest department about the incident, Forest Conservator Satpur Sahebrao Mahajan and Mahiravani’s Forest Conservator Sachin Aher immediately inspected the site and found the predator’s footprints in the pottery and nearby Guava orchard. Sahebrao alerted the workers and stated that they should install big lights in pottery, burst firecrackers before sleeping, and spread red chilli’s smoke in the residential area.