Leopard couple looking for prey stray into Nashik, rescued from two areas

  • | Saturday | 18th November, 2023

Nashik: A male and female leopard, presumably a couple, strayed into two different localities about 4km apart in the city on Friday morning.The first incident took place around 7am in Savatanagar area, while the second incident was in Govindnagar —around 4km away.Deputy conservator of forests Pankaj Garg said it was for the first time that there was a simultaneous straying of two big cats into the Nashik city.He said the two leopards could be a couple and had entered the city late on Thursday night in search ofprey. However, on their way back to the forest, they must have gone off track and strayed separately into two different localities.In the morning, the four-year-old female leopard was spotted near GST Bhavan in the Cidco area. When she saw movement of people, she scaled the boundary walls of GST Bhavan and entered a small lane of the Savatanagar area.Range forest officer Ketan Birari, who was part of the rescue operations, said the leopard couple must have come in from the Pandavleni area. We tranquillised and rescued the female leopard from the narrow lane. It took around three-and-half hours to rescue her.He further said it was a challenge to zero in on the female leopard, since she was backed up into a narrow lane and there was a crowd of around 1,500 to 2,000 people around. We successfully tranquillised the big cat and put her into a cage.While the forest team was engaged in capturing the big cat at Savatanagar, the department received another call from residents of Govidnagar that a leopard had strayed into their area.The second incident was at the Ashoka Pride gated community housing society, which has three buildings with 72 flats, in Govindnagar area. A four-year-old male leopard was rescued there after an operation of three-and-half hours.Watchman of the Ashoka Pride Sanjay Borse said it was around 9.15am, when he had gone to start the water pump. He returned to the entrance gate and saw a leopard entering. I was at a distance of only five metre. I immediately ran and informed society members, said Borse.A forest team arrived at 9.45am and started rescue operations, which also took almost three-and- half hours. Officials said there were injuries in both the incidents of leopards straying into the two separate city areas. Meanwhile, the leopard couple was later sent to the forest departments rehabilitation centre.

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