Female leopard, two cubs spotted in Gurugram’s Manesar
A female leopard and her two cubs were spotted by a wildlife team on Monday evening in the Aravallis, when the team was releasing a python rescued from Manesar.
Officials said that disclosing their location could pose a threat to their lives from poachers.
The officials have asked the residents of villages in the adjoining areas not to panic, as they were sighted in their natural habitat.
Subhash Yadav, district forest officer, Gurugram, said that a team comprising wildlife and forest department officials was sent to Manesar on Tuesday to ensure there is no man-animal conflict. “They are safe in their habitat. The female leopard was spotted with her two cubs, who are nearly 15 months old. The teams have seen many pug marks in the jungle and the wildlife increase is a healthy sign,” he said.
Officials said there have been instances wherein leopards have been injured or killed while crossing the road in Manesar. The Haryana Wildlife Department, in 2016, had planned to develop an underpass for animals to cross the NH-8 safely, but it has been lying in limbo, said officials.
Vinod Kumar, the additional principal chief conservator of forests, said that the proposed underpass would be covered with soil to ensure it forms a part of their natural habitat. “We have plans to construct a kilometre-long cave-structured underpass, which will connect Manesar and Bilaspur. The proposal has been sent and this will provide a protective enclosure for the flourishing wildlife in the area. The underpass will also be equipped with CCTV cameras to monitor wildlife species,” he said.
Kumar said the underpass is the need of the hour to curtail animal deaths by vehicular collisions.
The department has constructed a similar underpass at Nahar Wildlife Sanctuary in Rewari. The plan was proposed for the safety of animals while crossing the Kosli-Kanina road that passes through the sanctuary, said officials.
Anil Gandas, wildlife enthusiast who had sighted the leopards on Monday, said, “I kept a close watch on them for an hour and returned after they went into the forest.”
Residents of Bissar village in Manesar, nearly 20 kilometres from the city, said they are living in fear as leopards have attacked their cattle last month. “We sleep in the fields and have not fenced our area. Last month, a leopard took my calf, which was tied with a rope, away. We have no other option but to be mere spectators. We have been living in the fields for the last 44 years,” said Sarjeet Singh, a farmer.
City residents, who have farmhouses in Manesar area near NSG camps, said they have sighted leopards many times and avoid the area during monsoon. “Last week, we saw leopards prowling inside our farmhouse. We rushed inside the room,” said Kamal Yadav, a city resident.