Leopard rescued from pipe in Modinagar; third big car sighting this year
In the first instance, an adult leopard on January 17 was killed on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway near Bhojpur, presumably after being struck by a speeding vehicle
Following the capture of an adult male leopard from Modinagar on Sunday evening, forest department officials said that a special study would be needed to ascertain frequent sightings of the big cat in the region.
Although officials have refuted presence of a leopard habitat in Ghaziabad, this is the third sighting of the animal in the district this year.
The leopard — aged about five years — was captured from a pipeline in Modinagar’s Chudiyala after which forest officials released it in Saharanpur ranges on Sunday night. The locals in Chudiyala had complained four days ago of a leopard sighting but the forest teams could not establish its presence.
“This is the third sighting of a male leopard this year. As per our estimates, they could have ventured into the district from Amangar Tiger Reserve in Bijnor or from the Saharanpur forest ranges, which is close to Rajaji National Park. One reason for older leopards entering the district could be increasing population. However, we maintain that Ghaziabad still has no habitat for leopards,” said Manish Singh, divisional forest officer (DFO).
In the first instance, an adult leopard on January 17 was killed on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway near Bhojpur, presumably after being struck by a speeding vehicle.
On February 8, an adult leopard attacked and injured 10 people at the Ghaziabad district court before being tranquilised and captured. The animal was released in the forest range of Saharanpur the following day.
The officials said that the recently captured leopard could have entered the region alongside the upstream areas of Hindon river, which originates from near Shivaliks in Saharanpur and flows through various districts of western UP before reaching Ghaziabad.
“The nearest habitat may be in Meerut or other nearby districts as the leopard found at Chudiyala is close to Ghaziabad-Meerut border,” DFO added.
“A comprehensive study is needed to find habitat, if any, of leopard and other animals in Ghaziabad and to find why and how they are venturing into urban areas,” said Akash Vashishtha, a city-based environmentalist and lawyer.