Leopard is the most widespread species of wild cat in the world. The subspecies of leopard found in India is known as Indian leopard. Recently, the reports of leopard sightings in Indian cities have increased substantially. Why are leopards moving into cities in search of food? Let’s find out.
Why are leopard sightings increasing in Indian cities?
The main reason behind this is the increase in leopard population. In 2018, there were around 13,000 leopards in India. The population is still on an upward trend. Right now, it may be well over 13k.
Leopards are territorial animals but they can travel over large distances in search of food, sometimes over 15 km in a single day. In the quest for food, they can move into ever expanding towns and cities. In the rural areas, leopard sightings are even more common.
The third reason is the habitat range of leopards. They are found in almost every large Indian forest. These cats are extremely agile. They can easily jump over walls and gates making it easier for them to move into city centres.
In early November 2023, two leopards were seen in Bengaluru, one of them was shot after it attacked the vets. Forest officials are still searching for the second one. On December 2nd, 2023, a leopard was seen in the Sainik farm area of New Delhi.
People are advised to be extra careful whenever they hear the news of leopard sighting in their city. Children, livestock, and pets are the most vulnerable. If you spot a leopard, call the forest officials immediately. Indian leopards are very large wild animals. They can weigh over 70 kilograms.