An 18-month-old hyena cub was killed after a speeding vehicle hit it while it was crossing the Faridabad- Sohna highway near Mandawar village, 40 km from Gurgaon, late on Friday night.
The incident has once again brought the issue of man-animal conflict in the region to the spotlight. Mandawar villagers also alleged that they had spotted a leopard strolling near the village a few days ago.
Villagers said they felt threatened by the increase in wildlife population in the region. There is apprehension about the recurrence of the November 24, 2016, incident in which a two-and-a-half-year old male leopard was beaten to death by the villagers in the presence of police and forest officials. The leopard was killed at the end of a hunt that lasted over three hours after the big cat had strayed into the village.
The forest department confirmed that the hyena cub was hit by a vehicle on Friday night.
“We have taken the carcass for a postmortem examination after which we will be able to determine the cause and time of death,” Shyam Sunder Kaushik, divisional forest officer (wildlife), Gurgaon, said.
Surender Shastri, a villager said, “We have not been provided any protection by the administration. We are trying to guard the area by forming groups. We have spotted a leopard in the area recently and informed about the same to the wildlife department.”
Kaushik also said that as the village is in the Aravalli region, the presence of other wildlife in the area cannot be ruled out.
Even though instances of man-animal conflict has been increasing, the forest department is yet to receive any approval for creating a wildlife corridor across the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway — a proposal that it had sent to the government nine months ago.
“We have sent proposals to the state government and are waiting for the approval,” MD Sihna, conservator of forest, Gurgaon, said.
Environmentalists said these incidences depict that the government is not keen on protecting wildlife. “By the time the state government decides to think about wildlife, we might have lost majority of them,” Vivek Kamboj, an environment activist, said.