Forest department lacks experts, wandering animals a challenge | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Forest department lacks experts, wandering animals a challenge

delhi Updated: May 17, 2011 00:57 IST
Eshani Mathur

Shortage of experts adding to the woes of the wildlife department which is facing a tough time in tracking leopards and other animals wandering into residential areas due to rising temperature and decreasing forest cover.

"Darting or tranquilisation can only be done by a vet. Our rescue team has only four officials of our department who are called for when necessary. If these unskilled officials dart the animal with tranquilisers, it poses a danger to our lives as well as the animal," a senior official in the wildlife department said.

A leopard was seen last month in the Manesar area and officials were not sure if the leopard wandered towards Manesar from Bhondsi or vice-versa.

Due to increasing temperatures and reduction in forest cover the leopards and panthers are slowly making their way into residential areas. The official said that rescue teams are sent in case of any sighting of animal is reported. But tracking a wandering animal becomes difficult due to lack of skilled staff.

According to sources, Gurgaon division has six districts including

Faridabad and palwal with only one wildlife official each. Gurgaon and Mewat together have four officials, Mahindergarh and Rewari has two and five officials respectively.

After villagers in Faridabad killed a leopard who wandered into their area out of fear a few months back, separate teams of experts have been set up for every zone. The team included one inspector and two guards.