CANACONA: Agonda-Khola residents have started to get sleepless nights as some uninvited guests like leopards have started to knock on their doors at midnight.
The incidences of leopards and wild scavengers coming into the human settlements have increased day by day. These nocturnal wild animals tend to roam around and enter residential areas looking out for their prey. This has become a frequent story in the remote parts of Canacona taluka wherein leopards have entered residential houses in Canacona, and the recent leopard attack’ on a helpless. Chained dogs chained in the house verandah has become easy prey for the Leopard.
The available CCTV footage at a house in Agonda has managed to capture how a wildcat freely makes its way towards verandah in the middle of the night.
It further plays and catch holds the chained Dog with its wild teeth and almost tosses it around to break it free and take it away.
Incidentally, to the fortune of the Dog, the eeking sound which he made awoke the house inmates who discovered the wild cat running away and disappearing in darkness at around 1 am.
In Agonda alone, Leopards attacking and taking away pet’s have become a regular nuisance.
“It was about 10.30pm one night, our Dog gave me an indication to take it out. And I, as usual, took it out, and after leaving the chain with the Dog, I stood in our house courtyard. The Dog, as usual, went only about 5 meters outside the courtyard, suddenly in the darkness, I heard its distress sounds, and before I could anticipate what was happening, a leopard took it away and disappeared, giving eerie silence within a few seconds’, informed Kisan Dessai who also informed it’s been the third time in last two years that Wildcats have taken away their pet dogs,” he said.
Just in an adjacent but half a kilometre away, Savio Fernandes complains that five of their pet dogs have been taken away in the last one and a half years alone. ‘We had to keep the dogs inside our house. Otherwise, they won’t spare them’, Savio who have a pack of dogs as the house companions.
The wildcats attacks are so far aimed at pets; they have worried several residents, fearing the wild cats could divert their attention on humans if this issue remained unnoticed.
In Khola village recently, a female and pregnant Leopard running after its prey(Dog) entered a residential house, after which the Dog ran out, but Leopard got trapped after a house lady closed the door room where Leopard had entered. In a four-hour effort, the forest guards rescued the Leopard from the house.
Luckily, the female Leopard reportedly in the mid-pregnancy stage didn’t divert its attention on the man sleeping outside the house courtyard, the daughter studying in the entrance room, and the housewife who was busy cooking in the kitchen. Still, the Leopard ran straight after the terrified Dog, which quickly came out of the room, while house lady alerted by the sounds, saw Leopard entering, promptly closed the door and latched it from outside.
A similar incident around a few years ago also in Khola village saw an injured leopard enter a residential hut in the middle of the night and almost attack an old woman, who ran out, but the Leopard stayed Inside until Forest officials in a 5 hours efforts rescued the wildcat from the hut, nursed it for its injuries and left it into wild again.
Incidentally, residents on Canacona also complained of sighting of Stripped Tigers, which could not substantiate. However, many people believe larger sized wild cats are frequenting residential areas of Canacona, and they are certainly Stripped Tigers.