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Leopard cub captured in IIT, Mumbai

August 05, 2003 10:25 IST

A leopard cub has been trapped at the Indian Institute Technology campus in Mumbai. 

This is the second time in the last one week when a leopard has been trapped in the campus.

On July 28, a male leopard crossed the fence of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Forest officials finally caught it after laying a trap.

Speaking to rediff.com, Major (retd) Rajesh Dhankar, security officer of the IIT campus said, "We used to spot leopards occasionally in 1990s. But since last year, the spotting of leopards by students of IIT has become a common phenomenon. These leopards have multiplied in National park and are not finding prey in those areas. So they cross over to our campus to find prey."

IIT is based in the northeast of Mumbai and is surrounded by Powai Lake, Adi Shankaracharya Marg, Kanjurmarg and Sanjay Gandhi National Park National Park.

The IIT campus is about 600 acres and there are 250 guards, who keep a watch. At any given point of time there are at least 5,000 students.

Complaining about the lack of facilities, Major (retd) Dhankar said, "We don't have any guns or modern equipments to deal with these leopards. We only have firecrackers to scare them. We burst them whenever they are near our offices."

Last year, a 11-year-old boy residing in Kanjurmarg was killed by a leopard.

"So far there has been no incident where a leopard has attacked any of our students," said IIT Public Relation Officer, Aruna Thosar Dixit. "However, four years ago a watchman was attacked by the leopard when he tried to scare him and drive away. Luckily, he was not seriously injured."

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai