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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Mumbai: Camera traps put up to monitor leopards

Nikhil M Ghanekar , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 07, 2013
First Published: 08:40 IST(7/10/2013) | Last Updated: 08:44 IST(7/10/2013)

Following the death of four-year old Riya Mhasi, who was killed by a leopard last Tuesday at Khadakpada, Aarey Colony, Goregaon (East), wildlife activists and volunteers working with the forest department are using camera traps to zero in on the exact location of the animal.

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The forest department had installed one trap cage last Tuesday near the spot where Mhasi’s body was found.

A second cage was set on Wednesday after another attack on 12-year old Sunil Bhovar at Navapada on Tuesday evening.

However, the spotted cats have eluded capture so far.

With the possibility that two leopards were involved in the attacks last Tuesday, a total of seven camera traps will monitor leopard movements.

On Saturday night, one of the camera traps installed by wildlife activist Krishna Tiwari clicked a leopard near Khadakpada, where Riya Mhasi was killed.

Tiwari, who is working independently on a separate project with a television channel, had installed four camera traps near Khadakpada.

“The picture was taken around 4am. The leopard is a well-built adult. It doesn’t seem to be afraid of being close to humans around dawn. Even Riya (Mhasi) was killed early in the morning,” said Tiwari.

He shared the information with the forest department, who shifted the trap cage on Sunday after noon close to the spot where it was sighted, forest officials said
Meanwhile, volunteers of Mumbaikars for SGNP have taken three camera traps from the forest department to track the movement of the leopard at both Navapada and Khadakpada

“We have been visiting areas near Navapada and Khadakpada to see if leopards are close to the settlements. Locals have helped us in roughly mapping the movement of leopards based on their sightings. We have taken three camera traps from the forest department and have installed it close to Unit no.15 and Navapada,” said Rajesh Sanap, volunteers, Mumbaikars for SGNP.


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