A female leopard and two cubs were spotted by villagers of Sahrawan village, Manesar — 20 kilometres from Rajiv Chowk in Gurgaon — on Tuesday morning.
Villagers claim that the leopard was seen around 5am near a tube well in the village. A woman first spotted the leopard and she informed other villagers and the police.
“The villagers informed us that a leopard and two cubs were moving towards the village. We rushed to the spot but did not find anything. We have asked the wildlife department to support us in the case,” Jagdish Prasad Yadav, inspector of Manesar police station, said.
The villagers claim that a leopard has been visiting the area for the last few weeks but it has not attacked any animals or villagers. Though the forest department could not spot any leopard in the area, officials found pugmarks that confirm the sighting.
“There are over 200 houses here and it is very important that the forest department looks into the matter immediately. After the leopard was spotted, everyone is a little scared to move around at night,” Yadav said.
Fear griped the village as the news spread. The villagers have also filed a complaint with the district forest officer (wildlife). “We sent a team to inspect the area in the morning. Our team found pug marks of a female leopard and two cubs close to a tube well. This is a regular feature in this area. In summer, wild animals from the Aravallis come to the village area in search of water as the hills dry out completely. The animal has not attacked anyone so far,” RK Bhatia, district forest officer, said.
Wildlife ecologist Koustubh Sharma said, “We need to protect the forests around urban areas. They get us water, and leopards are the custodians of these water absorbing forests that indicate a healthy, functional ecosystem.”