A full grown leopard entered actor Hema Malini’s bungalow in Goregaon (East) on Friday.
However, the big cat escaped and went into the nearby forest by jumping off the bungalow’s compound wall, before the forest officials could reach the site.
Eyewitness informed that the leopard was seen on the road near the bungalow around 8am. It later came across a passing vehicle and got scared. The panic stricken leopard immediately jumped a 10-feet compound wall of the colony and finally entered the actor’s house.
“The leopard got so scared of the vehicle that it entered the compound wall and ran towards the bungalow. We saw it entering the house around 8.15am and immediately informed the police,” said Badelal Pandey, who works at one of the five-bungalows in the lane.
The police arrived around 8.40am. But when one of the police teams tried to enter the house, the leopard growled at them, after which they waited for the forest department to arrive.
Meanwhile, the gardener and the watchman at the actor’s bungalow had locked themselves in a room. Around 10am, they saw the leopard leaving. However, armed with tranquilizers, the forest officials arrived only at 11:45am. After a half-hour inspection, divisional forest officer, Thane, confirmed that the leopard had escaped.
“We checked all the rooms and also the outside part of the bungalow, but could not find the leopard. It jumped off the compound wall and went into the forest before our team could arrive,” said Anarse.
However, to ensure that the leopard has left the site and entered the forest, a team of forest officials waited at the bungalow till 3 pm. They suspected that the leopard came to the locality from the nearby Aarey Colony, which is close to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Meanwhile, residents of the area were surprised to host to this unusual visitor for the first time. Ashok Kapoor, who lives opposite Hema Malini’s bungalow, was shocked to hear that the big cat entered his locality. “I have been living here for the last 13 years and this is the first time that a leopard had entered our colony,” he told TOI.