Human-wildlife conflict

Adhering to advisory important to minimise the rising incidents
A team of Wildlife officials laying a trap on a tranquilized bear in Kashmir. [Representational picture]
A team of Wildlife officials laying a trap on a tranquilized bear in Kashmir. [Representational picture]File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Following rise in the incidents of human-wildlife conflict in different parts of Kashmir, the Wildlife Protection Department has issued an advisory, and appealed the people living in such areas to strictly follow it.

A minor was killed and several other persons were injured in such incidents. According to experts since the fruit season has set in, the wild animals, particularly bears, move towards the orchards and attack people. There were reports of leopards being spotted in some areas.

The presence of wild animals and the subsequent attacks have been causing panic among the people. The people in the human-wildlife hit areas keep on appealing the officials of wildlife protection department to visit their areas to trap the wild animals.

Despite lacking the required manpower, the concerned department keeps on sending teams to the places wherever the wild animals are spotted. The teams sometimes succeed in trapping the wild animals and some times they do not. At times the teams have to camp for days together in the areas.

There is immediate need to strengthen the manpower in the understaffed department so that its officials can reach all the places, where such incidents take place.

The officials should be also properly equipped. But it is also the responsibility of the residents to protect themselves from the attacks of wildlife. Being aware about the advisory issued by the department and knowing fully its details is very important.

As per the advisory people should not move alone, especially during the early and late hours. Isolated and uninhabited places should be avoided especially during night hours.

The advisory adds that children and women are more vulnerable to leopard and bear attacks, which can be contained if they move in groups or children are accompanied by an elderly person.

There are some more expert advices in the advisory, which need to be followed. One of the reasons for the conflict is also the human intervention into the wildlife habitats.

Whether it is construction of buildings or roads or some other moves into the habitats, the wild animals get disturbed. They then move towards residential areas leading to the conflict. Leopards are also in search of dogs for food. Dogs prefer to live in the areas where leftover food is thrown outside the houses by the residents.

Subsequently, a leopard also enters into a residential area and sometimes also attacks  people. Last year a number of children lost their lives in attacks by leopards in Baramulla district, particularly in Uri. There is immediate need to prevent or minimise the occurrence of such incidents.

This can be done by adhering to advisory issued by the wildlife protection department and the timely help of the department if a wild animal enters into a residential area.

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