Authorities wake up to threat by man eater leopard

Relenting to the public pressure, Jammu and Kashmir Wild Life Department issued an order on Saturday evening to hunt a man eater leopard who recently mauled a 12-year old boy in Doda village.

Relenting to the public pressure, Jammu and Kashmir Wild Life Department issued an order on Saturday evening to hunt a man eater leopard who recently mauled a 12-year old boy in Doda village.

After heavy snowfall in higher reaches, the leopard who has turned man eater entered in Nalwa village, 3 km from Doda town, on 21 January and killed the 12-year old Suhail, triggering fear among the villagers.

There were wide spread protests in the area by the people demanding taming or killing of the beast, as they claimed the leopard had attacked other villagers as well.

Reportedly efforts to capture the animal through trapping, capturing or tranquilizing by the wild life department were not successful even eight days after the incident. 

Later, the wild life warden Kishtwar division recommended permission to eliminate the animal.

Consequently, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wild Life) and Chief Wild Life Warden issued the order under the relevant provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Wild Life Protection Act,1978, to hunt the animal. But the permission granted by the order is valid only for seven days.  "Thereafter the permission will be deemed to have lapsed," the order reads.

"Following the order, we constituted a team comprising police and locals possessing licenced guns. After completing legal procedure, we will start the search operation in Nalwa area from tomorrow morning as every leopard has its own territory and we are hopeful that we will be able to locate the animal within 2.5 km radius," said Wild Life Warden Kishtwar Division,  Pankaj.

"The order to hunt is exclusively for the man eater leopard who struck Nalwa village and anybody who will try to harm other leopards in the garb of this order will be booked under stringent laws," he added.

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