The officials have set up 12 camera traps within a 2-km radius from the spot of incident. A cage trap was also set up by covering it with shrubs and bushes within a 100-m radius from the spot where the toddler was ambushed by the leopard.
“Till Monday night, we were able to set up 15 camera traps. Now, will set up 10 more camera traps at the spots where local tribals have recently spotted leopards. We are also working towards adding one more cage trap in a denser part of the forest,” G Mallikarjun, the Director of Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the Chief Conservator of Forests, said on Tuesday.
Officials said that while it has been more than 24 hours since the cameras were set up, the leopard has not been spotted yet in any of the cameras.
Wasim Athania, a member from the Aarey Camera Trapping Team, said that the leopard has been seen in multiple locations since Monday but has not been detected in any of the cameras. “The leopard was seen in multiple locations other than the places where we have set up the cameras. The sighting spots include the road, the forest area and the local tabela. The leopard is roaming around mostly because of the loud noise being caused by Diwali firecrackers,” said Athania.
After Monday’s incident, forest officials, along with local volunteers, have been travelling to the tribal hamlets to raise awareness about safety measures. They have been visiting each hamlet, telling people not allow children to go out without adult supervision.
“We will also cut down shrubs and bushes near some of the populated hamlets so that there is increased visibility. Our process of catching the leopard is ongoing as we can sense that the animal is not confining itself in one spot maybe because it is hunting,” Mallikarjun said.
Around 5.45 am on Monday, 16-month-old Eitikha Lot was attacked by a leopard in the courtyard of her house at Unit 15 colony.
After an hour, she was found in an injured condition by local residents in the forest. Eitikha was rushed to Seven Hills hospital in Andheri, where she was declared brought dead.
On Tuesday morning, local Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MLA, Ravindra Waikar, visited Eitikha’s family.