BHOPAL: The Gupta family residing in Akashganga colony of Shahpura got the shock of their lives when they checked the CCTV footage to find out the culprit which had knocked down their beautifully potted plants was none other than a young leopard that had climbed the six-foot-high wall of their house early in the morning. The leopard was spotted a few days ago near the Bansal Hospital and Swarna Jayanti Park.
Speaking to TOI, Satendra Gupta, an industrialist said, “I woke up at 7 am and saw that the plants had been knocked down. Fearing that a thief might have scaled the wall, I checked the CCTV placed on the wall. The footage showed that leopard had climbed the wall at 4:51 am when we were fast asleep,” he said.
The noise was loud enough to scare the leopard and he went the other way. His wife Rashi said, “We are scared out of our wits. Had the noise not scared it away, he would have come inside and sat in the porch. We could never have imagined that it could have been a leopard.”
The area near the colony is a forest belonging to CPA. The remaining portion of the hill is also home to a number of wild animals. Rashi said, “Many neighbors go for morning walks during that time but due to cold everyone was inside. It is really scary as our children are small and they play in the park from which the leopard descended onto the street.”
Other residents were also shocked by seeing the footage as it was truly unexpected for them. “Had they not had the CCTV, we would have thought that it was a cat. No one here would have imagined that it could have been a leopard. This has really put our kids in danger and we are staying indoors. The forest department has shown a very lax attitude. The leopard was spotted near the Bansal Hospital two days ago but they did not take any steps. Will, they only spring to action once a mishap takes place?”, said Matthew John, a resident.
A team of forest rangers led by range officer A K Jhawar went to inspect the area on Thursday. The leopard was not spotted after the break of dawn. He told TOI that the leopard was only one to two-year-old and not a full-grown animal. “We will deploy our rangers at the spot from 4 am to 8 am to keep a watch on the leopard. Once we trace its movement, we will place a cage and try to catch the leopard”, he said. The residents are scared for the safety of their children who have to board their buses for school early in the morning and have to go to the bus-stop by foot.