A day after a leopard killed six-year old Sanjana Thorat at Shankar Tekdi, Mulund (West), slum dwellers in the area have decided to avoid venturing into the forest area after dark.
To make locals feel secure, a group of 40 to 50 men patrolled the area on Monday night. Residents of Shankar Tekdi are encroachers in the 104 sqkm area of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), Borivli.
Nearly 1,700 enroachers including residents of Shankar Tekdi will be rehabilitated to Chandivli by July-end, said SGNP officials.
“The women have decided to use the community toilet blocks in the night rather than step out in the forest,” said Nitin Jire, 23, a resident of Shankar Tekdi area.
Residents have asked goat owners living outside Shankar Tekdi to herd their goats outside the forest area.
Residents at Royal Palms located inside Aarey Colony, Goregoan (East) have been cautious while stepping outside their homes. Earlier this month, a leopard had jumped over the boundary wall of a house in Royal Palms and strolled outside a bungalow that had just a glass door separating the leopard from a three-year-old child.
“We don’t let our children step out alone in the evenings,” said Shankar Sharma, a resident in Kurar village, Malad, that falls under the park periphery.