Leopard on loose’, generates panic residents of Sector 51 of posh society in Gurgaon

GURGAON,Sept5: Residents of Sector 51 claimed to have spotted a leopard on Saturday night. This follows earlier sightings by Sector 57 residents this past week.

“I was watching TV in my living room, when I suddenly noticed a big cat on our society’s boundary wall, through a window. I went to the balcony and saw it along with a cub,” said Sumit Vohra, a resident of J Block in Mayfield Garden, a residential society in Sector 51.

A residents’ group in Mayfield Garden informed the forest department of the sighting on Sunday morning. “After we got reports from Sector 57, we sent a team to the area. But, even after 2-3 days of recce of the area, they didn’t spot any pugmarks.

We’ll now send a team to survey Sector 51 and surrounding areas, as we too have received such reports,” said M D Sinha, conservator of forest (Gurgaon circle).

Sinha though suspects it could be a jungle cat or a civet which may look similar to a leopard in the dark. “It could be a jungle cat or civet. Like leopards, these too have spotted pelts, and can be confusing. However, if wild species have entered a residential area, it’s a matter of concern,” he said.

The department also received reports about an all terrain vehicle (ATV) being used in the stretch of forest between Badhwari and Damdama, which may have pushed wildlife away from it.

“Even though we haven’t got any evidence yet, we have sent our teams to the forest area to keep an eye 24×7 on such activity. ATVs create a lot of noise, which drive wildlife from the forest,” Sinha added.

The forest department is also going to install more camera traps in areas like Mangar, Ghata and Wazirabad, with the help of Wildlife Institute of India (WII). Currently, only two camera traps are installed in Bandhwari as part of a study by the department and WII.
A 30km-long stretch of forest, from Badhwari to Damdama, acts as a wildlife corridor between Delhi’s Asola Bhatti Sanctuary and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan.
Incidents of accidents and death of leopards have been reported from the area in the past.