Locals in Maharashtra's Kolhapur spotted a leopard in the Panhala region of the district. The big cat was initially spotted by three friends who saw the leopard resting on a rock near the Panhala port on August 13 evening, reported the Times of India. The road where the leopard was spotted is currently being used by the residents and tourists as an alternative route to reach the fort. The main route to the Panhala fort has been blocked due to landslides.
Locals expressed their concerns over the spotting and said that it could be dangerous for people using the Nikamwadi route to reach the fort. The big cat was spotted by a local resident Uttam Dalwi, who along with his friends, was passing by the area. Uttam said that he saw the leopard resting on a rock near the bungalow of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar. He even called his photographer friend to come and capture images of the big cat.
Villagers living in the nearby area are now scared by the spotting of the animal in the region. However, another local villager said people should not panic as the leopard was in its natural habitation and did not harm anyone. He informed that around seven-eight leopards live in the forest region around the Panhala fort. After hearing the news of the leopard sighting, locals gathered around the area to catch a glimpse of the animal. However, seeing the crowd of people around, the leopard walked back to the forest.
However, this is not the first time that a leopard has been seen entering a residential area in this region of Maharashtra. Earlier in April this year, a leopard was spotted at the Rajwada Chowk of Sangli city. The team of rescuers had to be called from Kolhapur to search and rescue the big cat from the city. The forest officials had to cordon the locality to avoid the escape of the leopard. The officials followed the pug marks left behind the big cat to reach her.