The residents of North Delhi witnessed the sudden appearance of a leopard in their midst once again. This had happened just a few months ago when the Wildlife Department and Wildlife SOS conducted a joint operation to try and capture the animal and relocate it to ensure its safety and the safety of residents.
Some residents of Chauhan patti in Sonia Vihar, North Delhi had spotted a leopard cross the road. Some months ago a leopard was sighted in the Alipur area of North Delhi, however this time the leopard was sighted twice over a period of three days by local residents and farmers. An eyewitness said that he saw a large spotted cat sitting in the middle of the road when he was returning late evening after selling vegetables. He said the feline seemed to be frightened of people and immediately ran to a nearby tree and tried to climb it. The petrified farmers ran for their lives in the opposite direction!
Then again another group of people spotted the bright yellow spotted body and reported their feline sighting to the local police station at Sonia vihar who contacted the chief wildlife warden’s office.
The Wildlife Department and Wildife SOS started the investigation into the sighting of the leopard and to explore possibilities of perhaps trapping the animal and relocating it to a safer less populated habitat.
Evidence of scratch marks on a tree, spoor were seen leading into scrub jungles and grasslands on the banks of the Yamuna which seemed overgrown with wild grass and abundant with nilgai antelope leaving us to assume the leopard may have chosen this area as a territory.
The trick was to wait and see if the leopard could be lured out before an accident occurs as a result of a man animal conflict. Of course it would be best if the leopard was left alone and he didn’t start preying on livestock.
The Wildlife Department set up a trap cage with a bait but the leopard seems to be giving everybody the slip and disappeared as silently as it appeared.
According to Abhishek Narayanan coordinator of Wildlife SOS Helpline, “This just goes to show how much biodiversity still exists in Delhi. We should all do as much as we can to preserve it.”
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