MUMBAI: A case of poaching in Aarey colony came to light on Tuesday with the forest department finding the carcass of a female leopard with 11 nails missing. About 100 meters away, the carcass of a male adult sambar was found with its head missing.
Both carcasses were found at Film City in Aarey colony just outside the jurisdiction of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), said officials. Sources said the department was informed about the snares on Monday and found the carcasses on visiting the site.
The female leopard was about three to four years old. The carcass was brought to the park for post-mortem.
“It is a clear case of poaching,” Jitendra Ramgaonkar, deputy conservator of forests, Thane, said. “When an animal is trapped in a snare it struggles to set itself free and the wires cut not just through the muscles but also the bones. The muscles of the sambar were also removed.”
Ramgaonkar said there were two studios in the vicinity and there were continuous film shoots. “It is surprising no one heard the cries of the animals or smelt the foul smell that emanates from rotting flesh,” he said.
Before this, in February 2016, the carcass of a female leopard was found trapped in a snare near the boundary wall between the Aarey colony and the Bombay Veterinary College.
Ramgaonkar said the Film City authorities had been told many times to improve security and sanitation. “Whenever there are film shoots, there is a lot of food thrown around, which attracts stray dogs, which in turn attracts these animals. The Film City authorities have done nothing about the concerns raised by us,” he said.
Dr. Shailesh Pethe, chief veterinary officer, SGNP, said the carcass was 15-20 days old. The carcass of the sambar was 20-30 days old.