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Pug marks found in central Gujarat of leopard: Forest Dept

Lunavada, Mar 15 (UNI) The Forest department on Friday said that the pug mark of a wild beast found near Signali forest in Mahisagar district of central Gujarat, where a tiger was found last month, was not that of a tigress/tiger, but of a leopard.
DCF Mahisagar R M Parmar and RFO R B Patel said that the night vision cameras installed in the area have also captured the pictures of a full grown leopard.

''The villagers in Kantar and other nearby areas had claimed that it was of a tigress and her cub, but they could not give any picture or any other proof of it. Our team searched the whole area in the 60-km distance from Kantar to Santrampur, but the pug marks found were that of a leopard and not of tigress or tiger. Also, we did not find any droppings (stool) of tiger or any instance of a kill by any such beast,'' Mr Patel said.
Mr Parmar said the pug mark was around 10 cm in length, while that of a tiger is normally around 17-18 cm. It has been found at various places, including behind a local hotel, where the beast must have gone to drink water. ''It is now confirmed that there was no tigress in the area. It is a leopard,'' he said.
Mr Patel said as the soil in the area was sandy, the pug mark had spread a bit.

The sole tiger traced recently in Gujarat after almost three decades, was found dead in the same area on February 26. Though it was said that the animal had died of starvation, still some kind of mystery shrouded its death.
The presence of an adult tiger, aged around seven to eight years, was confirmed in Gujarat, after around three decades.
On February 12, the Forest department had confirmed the presence of tiger in Gujarat. Its pictures and videos were captured in the night vision camera put in the area by the department. Its pug marks were also traced. A local teacher had earlier taken its photo in his mobile camera,
Almost 26 years ago, a tiger was seen at Dangs area of south Gujarat in 1992.

It had reportedly entered Gujarat from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra or Rajasthan, as tigers are present in the forests of all three neighbouring states.
Mr Patel said that 10 night vision cameras were still installed in the forests, to track the activities of wild beasts.
A teacher in Goriya area of the district, Mukesh Mehra had taken picture of this tiger near Gadh forest, around 20-25 km from here in the bordering area of neighbouring Panchmahal district on February 6. He had handed it over to the Forest department for further verification.
UNI RAJ RJ 1612
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