Cops intensify patrolling at Karnala after leopard sighting, alert residents
PANVEL: After a leopard was sighted at the Karnala bird sanctuary, around 15 kms from Panvel, on March 22, the police have increased patrolling in the area. For 15 years, there had been no sighting of a leopard in the sanctuary.
The adult wild animal was captured on trap camera installed in the sanctuary eating a cattle carcass in Ransai area of the sanctuary. The cameras were set up after locals told forest officials of a carcass of a freshly hunted animal that they had come across.
New Panvel police station and the forest department are on their toes and have asked the local residents to be careful.
Karnala division range forest officer SK Pawar said, “The Uran-Panvel region has huge stretches of mangroves providing cover for leopards. The leopard seen in Karnala was found in the protected area for the animal.”
“To ensure safety of those living in the nearby villages, especially residents of Ransai, Kalhe, Namachipada and Sai, we have formed committees and are in constant touch with them. We are holding meetings with the locals and creating awareness amongst them,” Pawar said.
Karnala sees a lot of trekkers and bird lovers.
New Panvel police station senior police inspector Maloji Shinde said, “We are appealing to tourists who come to the sanctuary to be alert and take necessary precautions.”
He added, “There are also a lot of trekkers in the region. They too have been asked to be cautious. The villagers and others have been asked to look for signs of the presence of the animal. These include pug marks and animal carcasses on tree tops.”
The police have warned people against venturing out in the night alone.
“The villagers have been told that wild animals do not attack unless provoked and hence they should not take any such action to harm the leopard. The wild animal could be attracted to poultry or goats that the villagers keep and so they have been asked to take adequate precautions.”
The leopard’s image was captured on a trap camera eating a carcass of a cattle last month.