A tigress has been spotted after almost a month of the appearance of pugmarks at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, indicating reappearance of the big cat in the city after 83 years.
Deputy conservator of forest of the park, S Bharati said the tigress was physically spotted in Nagla area along the Ullas River and Vasai creek and a member of a non-governmental organisation, Mayur Kamat, had filmed the wild cat.
Bharati said the tigress was believed to be staying with a companion in the mangrove forests at Korlai within the park, about 10 km from suburban Borivli.
Nature conservationists were excited over finding pugmarks of the tigress on May 16 near the water body at SGNP and they were awaiting the results of scat (droppings) samples, which were sent to the Wildlife Institute of India, at Dehradun in Uttaranchal, Bharati said.
Since the park officials were not sure about the corridor that the big cat might have taken to enter the area last month, with assistance from Bangalore based wild-life expert Ulhas Karanth they put up three cameras to photograph the animal at Nagla Block for forest records.
They, however, could not photograph the animal. But Kamat filmed the tigress, Bharati said.
Environmentalist Debi Goenka said steps should be taken to protect the area from human encroachment due to the tigress' presence.
Goenka had filed a Public Interest Litigation, prompting the Bombay high court to order the eviction of encroachers from the national park.