Pune: Leopards are seen in Junnar sugarcane fields but we cannot find a leopard in the nearby Bhimashankar sanctuary. This was revealed by the Buddha Purnima water holes survey conducted on Sunday.
Regarding wild animals in Bhimashankar, the Forest Department did not find a single leopard in the survey. However, a total of 105 animals of different types were spotted.
The State Forest Department conducts wildlife census to record the number of animals spotted near water holes on the brightest full moon day of Buddha Purnima. Every year, the department conducts a census with the help of animals lovers and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in wildlife fields. They conduct the census at 15 water holes between Sunday evening and the early morning of Monday.
In the census, they have to note down details about their sightings on the forms supplied by the Forest Department officials. The department assigned one forest official to each volunteer.
DR Zagade, Forest Range Officer of Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary said, “Every year, on Buddha Pournima, forest officials conduct an animal census. On Pournima, there is a clear sky and bright moonlight. Besides, the water at water holes evaporates quickly during summer and there is limited water in water holes, So animals visit every water hole. So, we counted them and noted down the result.”
Officials said no one saw any leopard in the sanctuary. But there are reports from nearby Junnar areas that people saw leopards in their farms.
In other sanctuaries like Karmala, Supe, Rehekuri and Nananj one noticed leopards during the census on Sunday.
There is an increase in the number of sambar. The counting is still going on, but the sambar was sighted at all 15 water holes.