Leopards from Nashik bring forefront
An adult male leopard, trapped at Deolali Cantonment area in the wake of the ongoing human-leopard conflict in Nashik, was shifted to Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali on Friday. The leopard was trapped from the Deolali Camp premises on Wednesday.
In the last one month, five leopards have been shifted to Borivali National Park from Nashik and now there is a problem of space for keeping leopards here. The human-leopard conflict has increased in the area under sugarcane cultivation area of 12 km of Darna river, since December, 2019. Till date, four people have been killed and two seriously injured in the conflict.
Against this backdrop, the Nashik West Forest Department has arrested six leopards in the last one month. An adult male leopard was trapped in a cage set up in a military colony on Dhondi Road in the Deolali camp area on Wednesday morning. Later on Thursday morning, a leopard cub was found in a cage planted in a field in Chandgiri village on the banks of Darna river.
As this cub was only one and a half years old, "we are ready to release it back to its natural habitat", said Vivek Bhadane, Forest Range Officer, Nashik West. The Deolali Camp is at a distance of 2 km from the area where the human-leopard conflict is going on.
"We have sent the adult male leopard, which was detained in the area on Wednesday, to Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali as it is likely to be the cause of human attacks," Bhadane said.
In the last one month, five leopards have been sent from Nashik to the 'Leopard Rescue Center' in Borivali National Park. They include two adult males and remaining female.
Therefore, there are now 17 leopards in this center with 24 cages, informed a forest official. While cleaning the cages inhabited by leopards, they have to be moved to other cages.
Therefore, as it is necessary to use the remaining seven cages for this work, if leopard are sent from Nashik, there will be a shortage of space, said the official.
No desicion over the release
Additional Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) West Sunil Limaye informed that no decision has been taken to release the leopards back to their natural habitat after entering the National Park from Nashik. He also said that planning should be done wherever leopards are being caught.
According to a report from the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, adult male leopards are responsible for human leopard attacks in Nashik. This conclusion has been drawn by examining the leopard saliva on the bodies of four people who died in the leopard attack.