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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Leopard pounces on 4-year-old in Mumbai, drags him for a few feet, flees after locals create ruckus

Mumbai city news: The boy suffered minor injuries on his chest, back and legs

mumbai Updated: May 29, 2017 12:18 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
This is the third leopard attack in Mumbai between March and May this year.
This is the third leopard attack in Mumbai between March and May this year.(Photo for representation)

A four-year-old boy living in Royal Palms in Aarey Colony, Goregaon, suffered injuries after he was attacked by a leopard on Saturday evening.

Cases of man-animal conflict have been rare in Mumbai since 2013. However, there has been a sudden rise in such incidents, with three being reported at the city’s green lung between March and May.

Forest department officials said the incident took place between 7.30pm and 7.45pm, when the boy and his father were walking near the Royal Palms apartment complex area. “The family wanted to keep the matter private and did not wish to disclose details. Our inquiry revealed that the boy was walking a few paces behind his father when he spotted the leopard. The animal pounced on him and dragged him a few feet. His father made a ruckus and asked passersby to help,” said Santosh Kank, range forest officer, Mumbai forest range. “The leopard got frightened and fled.”

The man took his son to a hospital in Goregaon soon after the incident. “The boy suffered minor injuries on his chest, back and legs. We met the family at the hospital, who told us the boy would be discharged on Monday,” said Kank.

On March 17, a three-year-old boy was attacked by a leopard near Khadakpada, a tribal hamlet inside the forests of Aarey Milk Colony. The boy suffered injuries on his chest and throat, but escaped after residents scared the leopard away. On May 21, a three-year-old boy was saved by his mother, who snatched him away from the claws of a leopard that had pounced on him in Chafyachapada, Aarey. The boy suffered minor injuries.

Stay safe
  • Be alert after dark as this is when leopards are active. Play loud music so big cats avoid you.
  • Do not venture out alone after dark.
  • Do not form a crowd around the animal.
  • Ensure that the garbage is disposed of and no feral dogs frequent the locality.
  • (Source: State forest department)

With the rising number of attacks, forest department officials said the situation was becoming serious. “We filed a report about the incident on Monday. I have written to senior forest officials, requesting them to give us the go-ahead to track and trap leopards attacking residents,” said Kank.

“We have asked Royal Palms for CCTV camera footage of the incident and have set up several camera traps in the area. We will track the animal and find out how many big cats frequent this area,” said Jitendra Ramgaonkar, deputy conservator of forest, Thane territorial. “Trapping is not a solution. We have already begun sensitisation drives with Royal Palms residents and will ensure our patrolling teams are in the area.”

First Published: May 29, 2017 12:11 IST