Leopards in Mumbai City

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So, can people and leopards coexist in Mumbai? I ask Vidya Athreya, an ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society-India. She studies human-leopard interactions in heavily populated areas. Her research formed the plot of the Bollywood movie Ajoba, released in Mumbai this summer.

She says wildlife living among people, even a potentially dangerous species like leopard, is not a new phenomenon in India. Big cats survive because the rural populace tends to be tolerant. Even around the SGNP in Mumbai, where people live in open houses without concrete walls, for example, they seem more willing to share their space. But this isn’t always the case in high-rises. Informing apartment dwellers about the ways of these big cats is invaluable so they don’t pressure parks to set traps. Whether leopards visit these buildings or not is largely in their hands.

An interview with the scientist about leopards in Mumbai City. html. pdf.