Tiger cub-like rare cat triggers panic in Greater Noida

GREATER NOIDA: An endangered wild cat was sighted in a green belt in Sector Pi 3, creating panic among residents due to its resemblance to a cub. The animal — a (Prionailurus viverrinus) — was last sighted in in 2012 and is not harmful since it mostly eats fish, according to the forest department.
The wild cat was spotted around 11am in the morning by a guest staying at the Le Grand Regency Hotel, which is located near the green belt. He thought it was a tiger cub and took a few shots of the animal from his mobile phone camera before calling up the management, who then informed police.

“A police team was immediately sent to the spot after information of the sighting of a tiger was received, but the animal was not found anywhere near the area. We also informed the forest department,” said Sunder Singh, senior sub-inspector, Kasna police station.

The news of a ‘tiger’ roaming in the area spread in the neighbourhood and photos of the animal started circulating in social media. “In the images, the animal looked like a tiger cub, and that created terror in residents. I hope that the forest department catches the animal soon so that it can be rehabilitated,” said Rajender Singh, a resident.

Meanwhile, a team of forest department visited the spot and identified the cat after they found its pugmarks. “It is a shy animal and does not harm anybody unless provoked. It primarily feeds on fishes, and that must have been the reason for its movement in the area because there is a drain along the sector,” district forest officer PK Shrivastava said.

The animal was last spotted in Chuharpur village of Greater Noida in 2012. “The animal looks very similar to a tiger cub. They once populated western UP, but sightings decreased with the loss of jungle area,” Shrivastava added. Fishing cats are primarily found in southeast Asia, and were listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List in 2016.

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