For last several days, leopards are being spotted by the local residents in some of the areas in Srinagar uptown. The leopards said to be more than one, move from one area to another, thus creating panic and affecting the movement of residents there.
The officials of Wildlife Protection Department are also on the job to capture the wild animals. They reach the areas whenever a call about noticing of a leopard is made. By the time they reach the spot, the wild animal disappears by that time.
Carrying tranquilliser guns and nets with them, the employees place cages to trap the leopards and also keep on visiting the affected areas regularly.
They are doing so despite acute shortage of manpower in their department. Reports said that employees of Budgam, Srinagar, Ganderbal and Pulwama districts are being jointly pressed into service for the ongoing task in Srinagar outskirts.
They are doing their job without any significant break as calls of leopard spotting keep on pouring in from more areas. There is an immediate need to strengthen the man power of Wildlife Protection Department in view of increasing incidents of human-wildlife conflict.
Last year the leopards killed a number of persons mostly children in north Kashmir. Earlier, a child was killed in Central Kashmir. Several others were injured in such incidents. There is immediate need of minimising the conflict and ensuring safety of lives.
All necessary efforts have to be made in this connection. Experts have been issuing guidelines from time to time for this purpose. These guidelines have to be followed. Natural habitats of wild animals must not be disturbed due to human interference.
Since the human population is increasing, the people move towards the areas nearer to the habitats of wild animals, for the construction of residential houses, other buildings and roads.
Then intrusion is also sometimes made in the habitats of wild animals and they get disturbed. On the other hand, the population of leopards is also increasing and they too move towards human habitats in search of food, particularly in winter.
The increasing population of stray dogs invites them to various residential areas and once the wild animals are spotted there is panic and danger.
The residents have to follow the dos and don'ts being advised by the experts to avoid a conflict with a wild animal in residential areas.
Throwing garbage near the houses and inviting dogs is also an invitation to leopards. This is to be avoided. So are the other things, being said by the experts in this connection.