Human-wildlife conflict

Increase in incidents cause of concern

The incidents of human-wildlife conflict are on the rise leading to loss of lives. A seven year old boy was mauled to death by a leopard at Nesbal village in Bandipora.

Several persons were injured in a number of attacks by wild animals particularly by black bears in Kupwara district.

The incidents have created panic in the affected areas and even hit the normal life. The people are reluctant in going out particularly during morning and evening hours.

They even avoid going to orchards and fields for work. Leopard attacks keep on occurring through out the year but black bear attacks mostly occur during the fruit harvesting season.

The bears reach to orchards and eat fruit there and while doing so the conflict occurs. Leopards are increasingly being spotted in the residential areas now.

They attack people particularly the children as happened at the Nesbal area in Bandipora district. Earlier, also several such incidents occurred in some other parts of Valley.

Last year a number of children were killed in leopard attacks in north Kashmir. Uri was the worst affected. There is no end to such incidents. In fact the incidents are increasing. Various reasons are being cited by the experts for the human-wildlife conflict.

The increasing human intervention into the natural habitats of the wild animals in forests is disturbing the wildlife. The construction of buildings and roads besides other such activities in their habitat forces wild animals to come out and go towards residential areas.

The shortage of food also makes it to move towards the residential areas, where they easily get stray dogs.

The children also become their targets. The understaffed Wildlife Protection Department is always in demand whenever or where ever a wild animal is sighted.

There is a need to strengthen the man power of the department and equip fully its personnel to deal with the situations and trap the animals.

There is also a need to reduce or stop the human intervention into habitats of wildlife. Increasing population of stray dogs must be reduced.

The residents must stop throwing leftover food in their neighbourhood which attracts dogs in large number.

After the sighting of a wild animal in an area, the local residents must strictly adhere to the advisory, being issued by the Wildlife Protection Department.

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