Leopard in Greater Noida society: Search and rescue op continues

Representational file image: Special Arrangement

Representational file image: Special Arrangement

Residents of a Greater Noida (West) group housing society where a leopard was sighted continue to remain indoors, with many even avoiding going to the local shops for their daily essentials after the feline was spotted again on Wednesday morning.

The Forest department here said it was continuing its search and rescue operation at Ajnara Le Garden in Sector 16 of Greater Noida (West), also known as Noida Extension, for the second consecutive day.

“No doubt, residents are very concerned about their safety,” Mukesh Gupta, who lives with his family on the 15th floor, told PTI.

Mr. Gupta’s wife was among those who claimed to have seen the feline moving around in the area on Wednesday morning.

“My wife saw the leopard moving in the society on Wednesday morning. It was a little misty when she noticed the leopard near the swimming pool,” Mr. Gupta said.

The leopard sighting on Tuesday triggered panic among residents of the group housing society.

While a team from the Forest department at Gautam Buddh Nagar rushed to the spot, experts from Meerut, Agra and Ghaziabad were also roped in for the operation, an official said.

The foresters had a confrontation with the leopard late on Tuesday night, confirming the animal’s presence in the society, the official added.

The society had issued a similar leopard alert a week ago when, on December 27, its maintenance department informed the residents about a feline’s suspected presence on the premises and urged them to avoid venturing outdoors.

“We are continuing with our search for the leopard. We have got teams from Agra and Meerut as well for the job,” Divisional Forest Officer Pramod Kumar Srivastava, overseeing the rescue operation, told PTI.

Altogether, seven teams, including four from the local Forest department, were at the spot, an official said.

By noon on Wednesday, the rescue team had blocked all exit points of an under-construction residential tower’s basement where the feline is believed to be stranded, the official said.

The society has around 16 residential towers of which five to six are under construction. The leopard was spotted in one of the under-construction towers’ basement on Tuesday. A couple of blurred pictures of the animal also emerged, according to the society residents.

The society officials had on Tuesday issued a one-line message to the residents, requesting them to stay indoors and cautious after the leopard was spotted on the premises.

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