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Mumbai: Teen attacked by leopard in Aarey, eighth such attack within a month

Aarey resident Ajay Pradhan said, “This is the eighth incident of leopard attack in a month. The forest department does not give a clear picture. The residents here are very agitated and I hope they don’t take the law into their hands.”

A 14-year-old boy was attacked by a leopard in unit no 13 of Aarey Colony in Goregaon East on Friday night. Darshan Dravid had claw injuries on his neck, jaw and head. This is the eighth case of a leopard attacking a resident of the area in a month.

Aarey resident Ajay Pradhan said Darshan was attacked at 9 pm.

“It appears that the leopard went for his neck. Fortunately, it did not bite him. The animal has clawed him. He was taken to Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Hospital in Jogeshwari and his injuries are being sutured.”

Pradhan said, “This is the eighth incident of leopard attack in a month. The forest department does not give a clear picture. The residents here are very agitated and I hope they don’t take the law into their hands.”

Rajshekhar Kanthi, another resident of Unit no 13, said Darshan had gone to use the common public toilet when the leopard attacked. “Another boy was close by. He raised the alarm and the leopard ran away.”

Kanthi said that a leopard had climbed on the roof of his house, where he had kept pigeons in a cage, and ate some pigeons on Thursday morning.

A few days ago, after a spate of attacks, the Forest Department had decided to lay traps for the animal. Three traps were laid. A two-year-old sub-adult leopard was trapped in Aarey, but forest officers found — by matching the spots of the animal with footage of the attacking leopard — that she was not responsible for the attacks. The animal was released later.

Sanjiv Valsan of Save Aarey movement said, “Unit no 13 is where maximum slums are expanding by setting fire to the forests. Now the forest is attacking them back. Hopefully they won’t harm the leopard.”

Round Forest Officer Narayan Mane said, “I have just heard about the attack. We will soon visit the spot.”

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