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Backyard Leopards Caught on Camera

Living with Leopards

endangered species, leopards, leopard photos, western Maharashtra animals

(Image credit: Project Waghoba)


In western Maharashtra, India, home of Mumbai, camera traps caught leopards ranging close to houses through the night, though the big cats were largely undetected by people. Despite this close proximity, there are few leopard attacks in this region, said authors of a study of big cats in the Maharashtra, published March 6, 2013, in the journal PLOS One.

The camera traps also snapped jungle cats, jackals, mongoose and people from the local communities. There were 10 large carnivores per 38 square miles (100 square kilometers) in the densely populated area, the study found.

Backyard leopard

endangered species, leopards, leopard photos, western Maharashtra animals

(Image credit: Project Waghoba)

A leopard on the prowl. Western Maharashtra is an altered landscape, dominated by crops, devoid of wilderness and wild herbivore prey, the PLOS One study said.

Striped hyena

endangered species, leopards, leopard photos, western Maharashtra animals

(Image credit: Project Waghoba)

This is a striped hyena, one of the "urban" carnivores in western Maharashtra.

Jackal

endangered species, leopards, leopard photos, western Maharashtra animals

(Image credit: Project Waghoba)

A jackal, one of many large carnivores living in close proximity to humans. (Image: jackal.JPG‎)

Posing

endangered species, leopards, leopard photos, western Maharashtra animals

(Image credit: Project Waghoba)

A local resident caught on camera trap.

Voguing?

endangered species, leopards, leopard photos, western Maharashtra animals

(Image credit: Project Waghoba)

Two passersby react to the camera trap.

Becky Oskin
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.