Leopard still on the DRDO Lab campus in Pune; staff gun case | Pune News
PUNE: Forestry officials and NGO volunteers on Wednesday continued trapping the leopard spotted more than 36 hours ago at the Alandi road campus of the research and development (engineers) establishment, while his authorities provided armed guards for the employees who had to be present in his research sections.
The leopard was spotted again early Wednesday morning in five of the camera traps set up at the facility. This prompted R&DE(E) authorities to change the officials’ schedule for the day.
“We had to provide armed guards to some of our staff members, whose physical presence is required in various research sections on campus. The objective was to enable them to carry out their task in a safe environment,” said said Prime Minister Kurulkar, Director of R&DE(E), a premier laboratory of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
“Since the new sighting of the animal, we have changed our work schedule to ensure that no work is impeded in any section of the laboratory. Some of the meetings were held at 7 a.m. in the house of hosts and in safer locations. We have deployed additional guards on watchtowers for the safety and security of our employees,” he told TOI.
“On Tuesday we had to stop several activities due to the leopard sighting. But today (Wednesday) we were able to do our scheduled key activities,” Kurulkar said.
Pune Division Deputy Forest Conservator Rahul Patil, who is overseeing the leopard trapping operation, said: “Our teams have been patrolling the entire campus since Tuesday morning. We have now placed five trap cages at the locations strategic locations where the leopard had strayed in the past 24 hours. We have placed bait in these cages to lure the animal. We hope to complete the operation soon.
“The animal must have taken shelter in a place where it must not have encountered any difficulty. The leopard being a nocturnal animal and striving for more than 24 hours, we suspect that it could go out in search of food and prey at night. We placed the cages on its possible routes,” said Mukesh Sanas, the rangeland forest officer leading the operation on the ground.
Neha Panchamia, founder and president of the NGO RESQ involved in the search and rescue operation, said: “Based on the observation of the captured image of the animal, it is a leopard adult. The physical characteristics are those of a male. leopard.”