Leopards wandering the Sanjay Gandhi National Park could be helping to control the citys dangerous stray dog population, analyze suggests
A fleeting glimpse of the black places and gold fur of a leopard is not an uncommon sight at Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the Indian city of Mumbai.
Leopards are often thought of as a threat to humans, but rather than being a problem in Mumbai, they may actually be helping their human neighbours- even saving “peoples lives”- as we argue in our newspaper published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
Recent analyses suggest there may be as many as 41 leopards roaming the 40 square mile park. That’s about two to three times the leopard density you’d find in some of the most productive savannahs in Africa or Sri Lanka.
Mumbai’s leopards live alongside people, mostly in informal settlements, and they hunt and kill dogs in and around their villages. On median, dogs make up about 40% of a Mumbai leopard’s diet.