A leopard has been sighted in the Asola wildlife sanctuary, the first camera trap image of the animal captured as part of the ongoing leopard census being carried out by the Delhi forest department in the sanctuary area. According to forest officials, the image was captured on August 30 at 6.09am, after which steps have been taken to secure the animal as well as the surrounding villages. “An alert has been sounded in nearby areas such as Sangam Vihar, Deoli and Tughalaqabad, among others, asking people to not trespass into the forest area. Also, they have been asked to not venture out late in the dark and keep children within the houses. Besides, regular patrolling along the fences has started to keep the animal secure,” Amit Anand, deputy conservator of forests (south division) said. Anand said that though there have been secondary sightings over the past six months, meaning sounds of growling being heard or staff reporting movement of a big cat in the forest, the August 30 image was the first solid piece of evidence about the presence of leopards in the area. touches 8 The census, the first of its kind exercise in the Asola sanctuary, was launched in July this year. Leopard is one of the focal points of the census, said officials. The census is being carried out by the Delhi forest department along with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).