Teen leopard in Mumbai scales a 7ft-high compound-wall and a barbed wire fence to attack a dog at a girls’ hostel

Teen leopard in Mumbai scales a 7ft-high compound-wall and a barbed wire fence to attack a dog at a girls’ hostel

Mumbai,June13:A sub-adult leopard jumped a 7ft-high compound-wall and a barbed wire fence to attack a dog on the steps of the Bombay Veterinary College (BVC) girls’ hostel on early Friday morning.

Officials from the college confirmed and shared the CCTV video of the incident with HT on Monday.

The hostel is located within Aarey Colony and is close to Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which is known to have 35 free-roaming leopards.

The CCTV video shows the leopard chasing the dog around 4.22am on Friday. The dog is pinned down by the leopard for about 15 seconds, after which he leaves the prey and makes a run. Another dog is seen frantically running in the background. The video ends with the leopard running in one direction, the dog running in the other, and the leopard later following the dog.

Representatives from the college said while leopard sightings were frequent on the 145-hectare college campus, a dog attack is a first in the past few years. “We believe the leopard climbed a tree and jumped into the campus to look for dogs,” said Dr Ashish Paturkar, dean of the college, adding there was no need to panic. “There are around eight stray dogs within the 6,000 square-foot girls hostel.”

Paturkar said the dog mauled by the leopard has not been found. “There is a chance the dog has been eaten by the big cat, but we are not sure,” he said.

The college authorities have now written to the forest department informing them about the incident. “We have about 60 girls living in the hostel and all of them are fond of strays and feed them regularly. We had a meeting with the forest department over the weekend. They asked the girls not to panic,” said Paturkar. “We have put in place strict rules and installed high-mast lights. There is security outside the hostel throughout the night.”

Forest department officials said the hostel authorities were told to inform the department about any such sighting. “We conducted an awareness drive and sensitised the girls about the danger of living in close proximity to leopards,” said a forest official.

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