Pug marks in Bharatpur bird park trigger leopard alert
Pug marks of a leopard prompted Keoladeo National Park officials to sound an alert for villagers living on the periphery of the bird sanctuary and tourists as Rajasthan has reported a spate of big cat attacks this monthjaipur Updated: Feb 27, 2017 20:14 IST
Pug marks of a leopard prompted Keoladeo National Park officials to sound an alert for villagers living on the periphery of the bird sanctuary and tourists as Rajasthan has reported a spate of big cat attacks this month.
Forest department officials caught four leopards in areas near the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar after four people were killed in attacks between February 5 and 12. Officials claimed that the last animal caught on February 21 was behind the human killings.
Forest officials caught a leopard that killed two dogs over the weekend at Ghana Magra village in Jodhpur. Another leopard entered the barn of a shepherd on Friday night in Udaipur’s Dedro Ki Dhani village, and killed 20 of his goats. On February 15, a big cat had attacked two people in Udaipur’s Bhanor village.
“We have requested villagers located at the park to be careful and avoid going to dense forests due to leopard’s movement in park,” Keoladeo park director Biju Joy said on Monday.
The pug marks were seen on Sunday in the Kadamb Kunj area of the park in Bharatpur after a gap of two months. A big cat was last caught on cameras in the park on December 23. Officials said the leopard had been living in the park since November 3.
Adhapur, Darapur, Malah, Jatoli and Kalyanpur villages are located on park borders; villagers go to forests for cattle grazing and farming. Rickshaw pullers, nature guides, tourists, and villagers have been told to avoid going to forests.
“Leopard is not dangerous, but tourists are advised to limit their visit to the wetland area of the park. Leopard doesn’t enter the wetland, lives in dense forests. It comes out of forests in night for hunting,” said retired ranger Bholu Abrar Khan.
“Leopards are beneficial for the park as they control growing wild animals. 8-10 leopards were there in the park when Bharatpur was under royal control,” said Vishvendra Singh, Congress legislator from Kumher-Deeg and a royal family member. “Leopard was last seen in 1969 when I was with my father Maharaja Brijendra Singh, last ruler of Bharatpur,” said Singh, a lover of animals and birds.
Thousands of migratory birds from Europe, Siberia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia come to the park, declared a world heritage site in 1985, every winter.