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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Leopard attacks dog, mauls man as he rushes to his pet’s rescue in Mumbai’s Mulund

Both owner and his pet are undergoing treatment; this is the second instance of a leopard entering a residential area in Mulund this year.

mumbai Updated: Jul 30, 2018 13:35 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Suraj Gawai, 28, was mauled by the leopard at Rahul Nagar, which is on the periphery of Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Suraj Gawai, 28, was mauled by the leopard at Rahul Nagar, which is on the periphery of Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

A resident of a slum in Mulund was injured after he was attacked by a leopard outside his home on Sunday morning. The wild animal also attacked the man’s pet dog before escaping.

Suraj Gawai, 28, was mauled by the leopard around 2am at Rahul Nagar, which is located on the periphery of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).

This was the second case this year of a leopard entering a residential area of Mulund. According to forest officers who visited the spot, the leopard scratched Gavai’s face when he opened his door after hearing a noise outside his house. He was taken to King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital in Parel to treat the injuries.

“Gawai had tied up his pet dog outside the house. Dogs form the major prey base for leopards. When the big cat attacked the dog, Gawai rushed to save him, and in the process was scratched near his eye,” said Rajendra Tawar, round officer, Mulund, Mumbai forest range. “We have told the residents to ensure that their pets are kept indoors at night.”

Avinash Supe, dean, KEM Hospital, said Gawai was lucky to escape with no damage to his vision. “The patient has suffered an injury on the lower lid of his right eye but there has been no damage to the cornea or his eyesight. The wound has been attended to and he has no other injuries,” Supe said.

Animal welfare groups that reached the spot said the dog, which was injured on its neck and ear, also underwent treatment.

“We have surveyed the area, interacted with citizens and told them not to panic. Constant monitoring and patrolling of the area will ensure that the attack is not repeated,” said Pawan Sharma, wildlife warden, Thane, and president of Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare.

The forest department has decided to set up trap cameras to track the leopard’s movement but pointed out that the slum had been built on land encroached from the national park.

Anwar Ahmed, director and chief conservator of forest, SGNP, said that the entire Rahul Nagar slum locality will be rehabilitated soon. “We are aware that they are encroachments. The matter was in court and the rehabilitation process will begin soon,” he said.

“Since the slum is a clear encroachment within the national park, it is senseless to leave one’s dog outside the house when leopards are moving about,” said Jitendra Ramgaokar, deputy conservator of forest, Thane forest range.

“However, the residents have been sensitised, and camera traps were set up on Sunday evening itself.”

First Published: Jul 30, 2018 13:34 IST

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