The entire episode was recorded in a CCTV footage and this has left the 168 resident families baffled.
Days after the incident, there is no solution in sight as the leopard has been sighted in the same area many times since then. The society is located so close to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) that they are separated by just a boundary wall. In fact, the residents said that a water hole where leopards come to drink is located near to their building, reported TOI.
Ulhas Gawde, secretary of the New Dindoshi Hill View co-op housing society, said "On February 26, the CCTV captured the leopard walking in our premises from the main gate at 3.48am. Then a minute later, it was chased away by a dog. On the same day around 5am, the security guard saw it sitting close to the boundary wall. He made some noise and the leopard fled."
The scared residents then contacted the Thane forest division officials, who came at 11.15pm the next day. Even as they were speaking to the residents, the dogs started barking again. "We saw the leopard sitting on the boundary wall. The forest officials asked the security guards to scare it away by bursting fire crackers. They said if the problem persists, they will set up traps," said Gawde, adding that the last sighting before this was in 2010, but the leopard had not entered the society.
On the other side, the stray dog that chased the leopard away has also become a hero for the building's residents.
"We have three stray dogs in the building and residents often feed them. It was shocking to see this one giving a chase to a leopard. We hope none of them falls a prey to the leopard," said a resident.