The drive comes in the wake of the recent death of a leopard that was trapped in Aamby Valley. Assistant conservator of forest (Pune division) Mahesh Bhavsar the department has formed four teams, each comprising six employees, for the drive. “Each team will move around in a vehicle to spot the traps. A separate team has been deputed for the drive in Aamby Valley,” he said.
“The teams will try to detect and destroy the traps laid by the poachers to catch boars and other wild animals. The team members will urge the villagers to inform them on spotting any such trap while visiting the forest areas to collect firewood and berries or to graze animals,” Bhavsar added.
Nilesh Garade of Wildlife Rescuers, Maval, said some masons working in Aamby Valley had heard the growls of a leopard and found the animal in a trap on Saturday. “Some local people alerted the forest department about the incident. The leopard was trapped on a private property in Aamby Valley where outsiders are not allowed,” he said.
The leopard died by the time the forest department employees reached the spot on Saturday evening. “The leopard was 1.5-years-old and weighed 45-50kg,” Bhavsar said.
On Saturday, another leopard died after being hit by a speeding vehicle on Kalyan-Ahmednagar highway at Udapur village near Otur in Junnar taluka. Bapu Yele, range forest officer, Otur, Pune division, said, “The two-year-old female leopard was hit by the vehicle around 8pm on Friday. Though its hind legs were injured, the animal managed to cross over to the other side of the road.”
He added, “We took it to the leopard rescue centre at Manikdoh for treatment. It, however, died during treatment.”