NASHIK: The free movement of leopards has increased in the last few days in the villages near Gangapur dam. Due to the abundant availability of food and water, the area has become a leopard prone area. Leopards are frequently seen, especially in the backwaters. So there is an atmosphere of fear among tourists, including local farmers. There is a large concealment area in the suburbs of Gangapadli, Savargaon, Ganesh village, Gangav and other villages in Gangapur dam area.
In addition, there is a leopard friendly environment in the wide area of the open university including the nursery of the forest department. Due to the good natural habitat in the dam area, the leopard are flourishing there. Therefore, even during the day, leopards are spotted by the locals. On weekends, there is a large crowd of tourists in the backwater area of Gangapur Dam.
Two days ago, tourists spotted leopards roaming free. The leopard was captured on the mobile camera of some tourists. Forest officials conducted a search operation in the area as soon as they got the information. The leopards were not found even after the entire area was cleared. Leopard footprints were found only in the area. Meanwhile, locals are demanding the installation of a cage in the area to trap the leopard. The forest department has appealed to tourists not to visit the Gangapur backwater area as leopards are roaming freely.