Delhi Gets a Leopard of Its Own

© AFP 2022 / DIPTENDU DUTTAA leopard sits at the rehabilitation centre of the Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary, some 165 kms from Siliguri on July 4, 2009
A leopard sits at the rehabilitation centre of the Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary, some 165 kms from Siliguri on July 4, 2009 - Sputnik International
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Delhi’s biodiversity conservation effort has a positive spinoff as leopard from neighboring state starts feeling comfortable.

Indians sit on the banks of the river Yamuna engulfed with smog in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. - Sputnik International
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New Delhi (Sputnik) A leopard was caught on camera in New Delhi, India’s capital city known more for its traffic and smog.
The elation among nature lovers contrasts with a sense of unease among locals. But scientists have urged them to remain calm as leopards are known for seldom attacking humans.

The big cat is first of the species to be spotted at the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, a conservation site for a specific group of endangered plants. The park officials had been alerted by a local who claimed to have spotted an unusual animal near the Yamuna river bed. Soon, scientists were called in to track the animal which had left pug marks in the loose sand but remained elusive for almost two weeks till it was caught on a specially-fitted camera.

The officials at the park believe that the leopard might have become a 'resident' as its pug-marks have been regularly seen for two weeks.

The leopard might have earlier lived in the neighboring state of eastern Haryana and walked along the Yamuna riverbed to reach Delhi and found the diversity park to his liking. Scientists claimed that spotting of the animal a major achievement for the city because it has established the success of biodiversity parks and how these reconstructed ecosystems can restore an area’s wildlife.

The Wildlife Institute of India estimates the country has 12,000 to 14,000 leopards but most of them are in the high man-animal conflict zone.

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