Prevent human-wildlife conflict

Death of a minor in Kupwara indicates that not much is being done

A minor boy was attacked by a leopard in a village in Kupwara. He died in the incident. There is no end to such incidents. Such reports keep on coming from different parts of Kashmir, shocking the people and causing panic.

The movement of wild animals particularly that of leopards and bears has increased in residential areas, orchards and fields during last few months. This has led to human-wildlife conflict, causing loss of life.

More incidents have been reported from Baramulla and Kupwara districts, while some incidents also occurred in south and central Kashmir. Experts say that the people do not adhere to the guidelines being provided if a wild animal is spotted in their area. They do not curtail their movement during peak morning and evening hours or during night.

Children are allowed to go outside alone and they become the targets of the wild animals' attacks. The lighting arrangement is not properly made around the houses. The stray dogs are fed in residential areas and thereby making leopards to come and attack dogs.

And sometimes the leopards also attack the residents. There is an immediate need to strictly follow the safety measures for the protection from wildlife attacks. At the same time there is need to strengthen manpower of wildlife protection department.

The staff must be properly equipped so that they effectively trap the wild animals. Reports say the department is understaffed and there is shortage of required equipment. The concerned authorities must address the problem at the earliest. The officials of the department are always in demand whenever a wild animal is spotted in any area.

Since the animal does not stay at one place and keeps on moving from one area to another, more and more people want sending of wildlife protection department teams to their areas. The staff does visit places and keeps on camping there but it cannot reach everywhere due to shortage of manpower.

This causes resentment among the people in other areas. More manpower can help in solving the problem and saving the human lives. Sometimes the officials are able to trap animals and sometimes they are unable to do so, as leopards keep on giving them a slip.

The human intervention into the habitat of wildlife must be stopped. This intervention whether in the form of constructing roads and buildings or some other things force these animals to come out from there and move towards residential areas. This is another reason for human-wildlife conflict. All efforts should be made so that the conflict is prevented and human lives saved.

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