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Alert sounded, patrolling on as leopard seen in Delhi villages

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) The Delhi Forest Department has sounded an alert and is conducting patrols after a leopard was spotted around Najafgarh and Ghumanhera villages for two consecutive days, officials said on Sunday.

The official told IANS that the animal was first caught on CCTV on January 27. Later, it was sighted near Ghumanhera on January 28 and near the Najafgarh drain the next day. The alert was sounded on January 29.

RP Mishra, a senior official in the Forest Department (Western Zone), who is also part of the patrolling team, said: “A video clip showing a leopard moving towards the Najafgarh village triggered panic among its residents. Three forest staff teams are doing round-the-clock patrolling in nearby villages and other possible hiding places of the wild animal. However, the animal’s location was not known after January 29.”

As to the possibility of leopard straying into Delhi, Mishra said: “The animal may have strayed from neighbouring states, but we are yet to receive any such information in this regard. We are regularly coordinating with the forest officials in the neighbouring states.”

He said that with the news about the leopard spreading in the area, people got panicky.

The Forest Department has set up trap-cages with live bait in some places to catch the animal.

“Apart from making announcements on the loudspeakers, we have also distributed pamphlets and pasted posters on walls, asking residents to remain alert. As many as three cages have been placed in different areas. People are also advised not to step out alone, especially at night,” Mishra added.

Replying to the possible whereabouts of the leopard at present, Mishra said, “It may be that the animal has moved away from this area but we are yet to get any concrete leads.”

–IANS

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