Leopard spotted in Chandu village in Gurugram, search underway
Residents of Chandu and Garhi villages, 15 kilometres from the city, have reported a leopard sighting at least thrice since Sunday, prompting wildlife officials to camp in the area in search of the big cat.
Officials, who have surveyed the animal’s pug marks, believe it is the same leopard that was first spotted near a warehouse in Chandu village and then close to a farmhouse, which is about 500 metres away from the first spot. After about an hour, it was reportedly sighted in Garhi, a kilometre from Chandu.
Rajpal Yadav, a 58-year-old ex-serviceman who runs a hardware store in Chandu, was the first to report the sighting on Sunday night. He said he was returning home around 9.30pm after work when he saw the leopard near a warehouse.
“The animal was sitting calmly. However, the sound of an incoming tractor startled the animal and it ran away. On Monday, villagers spotted it near the farmhouses,” he said.
Officials said they carried out a six-hour-long search operation on Monday and Tuesday but could rescue the animal. They used remote-controlled drones and binoculars to capture the movement of the leopard, but could not find any lead.
“It was a difficult operation as a lot of warehouses and farmhouses are constructed in the area, making it difficult to spot the leopard. The search operation was carried out for two nights with more than 100 villagers and officials but it was futile,” said Vinod Kumar, additional principal chief conservator of forests.
He said the search operation will continue till Wednesday. He said that the aerial distance from the village to the Aravallis, where leopards are found, is at least nine kilometres.