The Delhi Forestry Department has alerted residents living near the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in the nation’s capital to the presence of a leopard in the area.
It comes after a leopard has been captured on a camera trap set up near the office of the deputy conservator of forests.
Authorities said the leopard was seen moving in the dark in a camera trap set 250m from the Tughlaqabad forestry office.
The camera trap has been set up in the sanctuary to take a census of leopards.
According to some reports, the inhabitants of Sangam Vihar, Deoli and Sanjay Colony Bhatti Mines have been alerted to the presence of the feline in the region.
“The leopard was captured recently by a camera trap set just 250 meters from the office of the Assistant Conservator of Forests, South Division. We learned about it while browsing the footage last night,” an official said.
“We made announcements in the villages and asked residents not to venture out alone at night. Parents were asked to keep an eye on their children,” he added.
Although there have been allegations from locals in the past of leopard sightings in Asola, this is the first time that the presence of the big cat has been established beyond doubt.
The area is part of the Northern Aravalli Leopard Wildlife Corridor, which stretches from Sariska National Park in Rajasthan to the Delhi Ridge.
In 2017, a family of three leopards was sighted in the wildlife reserve covering an area of 32.71 km² on the Southern Delhi Ridge of Aravalli hill range on Delhi-Haryana.
“Leopard sightings have increased because the felines have found their home here. Three leopards have been spotted in an abandoned open pit,” an official said.
According to forestry officials, the increase in the population of prey like blackbucks could be the reason for the presence of leopards in the area.
This is the third time that a leopard sighting has been reported in Delhi.
Locals spotted a #leopard at DLF #Chattarpur Closed on Friday. #Delhi #Forest The department deployed drone cameras on Saturday to track it. Camera traps set up, trap nets set up. If found, it will be published in #Asola Bhatti #Wildlife Sanctuary. # Environment day pic.twitter.com/jAerY83aJ3
– Gaurav Saini (@shadow_seagull) June 5, 2021
In June, the department used drone cameras and set up trap nets after a leopard was spotted at DLF Chattarpur Farms.
Also last month, residents informed the department of the presence of a leopard in Mehrauli. A video of him sitting on top of a DTC bus had triggered panic in the area.