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Thread: Locals trap big cat in Aarey Colony

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    Default Locals trap big cat in Aarey Colony


    Saturday, Jan 18, 2014, 9:39 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

    A male leopard was trapped at Khadakpada area of Aarey Colony early on Friday. It was the very place from where a four-year-old girl was taken away by a leopard in October 2013. Forest officials, who reached the spot around 6.30am, said the animal is around two and half years old.
    Animal expert Krishna Tiwari said the trap was activated by locals a few days ago after they sighted a leopard a number of times.
    “They claimed that they had been seeing a big leopard in the area for the past few days, but this one is smaller in size. They activated the trap on their own. This type of venture should
    be taken under scientific supervision and it can be very dangerous,” Tiwari said.
    There were six such incidents between July 2012 and January 2014. “Aarey Colony has seen some of the worst man-animal conflict and leopards have been inhabitants of the area for a very long time. There has been a surge in such incidents due to human encroachment,” said Tiwari.
    He added that translocation of leopards can never solve the problem and sometimes incidents have cropped up in relatively peaceful areas due to the confusion caused by translocation.
    The main reason why leopards hover near human settlements is easy prey in the form of dogs and rodents.

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    The Aarey colony has lot of green areas for leopards to live there permanently. Due to lack of prey base these leopards have only the domestic livestock, street dogs, monkeys etc to predate upon.

    The residents are not tribals and had started living there roughly 60 years ago. The victims grand mother said that during her younger days they had never faced this leopard problem and said that perhaps the leopard doesn’t have anything to eat. She also said that they would love to shift to any locality if the Government can provide them accommodation. Unfortunately, Mumbai is bursting at its seams and people have occupied every conceivable space. People are living in close proximity to leopards and now that they are taking up the law into their hands by trapping leopards, the situation can’t be more dangerous. Unless it is dealt with now, the situation can be as worse as in Uttarakhand where the people routinely trap and burn leopards.

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