MARGAO: A six-year-old male leopard was trapped at Sarzora-Chinchinim in the wee hours of Wednesday morning after a 23-day hunt.
Following a complaint registered with the forest department on August 21, members of the Wildlife Rescue Squad together with forest officers laid a trap using a dog as bait.
This is the sixth leopard to be caught by the forest department in the last two-and-a-half years in the verdant area between Chinchinim and Cuncolim in South Goa.
Nazareth Rodrigues, a resident of Sarzora-Chinchinim, who filed the complaint, told TOI, “I had heard many villagers talking about a leopard in the area. I did not believe them till my pet dog was taken away by a leopard.”
Following Rodrigues’ complaint, squad members Julio Quadros, Benhail Antao and Suresh Mannapur, under the supervision of range forest officer (mobile squad) Raju B Desai set a trap for the leopard on August 22. They were helped by round forester Datta and forest guards Reis Mangos Dias and Samarth.
After giving the team a slip for 23 days the wildcat finally fell for the bait and was trapped around 2.45am on Wednesday.
On being informed that the leopard had been trapped, the rescue team of the Cotigao wildlife sanctuary, led by deputy range forest officer Narayan Waiganker, reached the spot at around 5am and shifted the leopard to Cotigao wildlife sanctuary. The wildcat is 2 m in length, said forest officials.
Meanwhile, alleging that poaching was on in the Chandreshwar Bhootnath forest range which falls between Paroda and Chinchinim, a local, wishing not to be named, said, “We sometimes hear gunshots in the hills at night. Of course, we are too scared to try to investigate what is happening. Many times vehicles without number plates are also seen parked at the foothills.”
Forest officials said they are aware of this and are investigating the same. They further appealed to locals to inform them of any questionable activity. The informant will be kept anonymous.
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