Today in New Delhi, India
Oct 20, 2018-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Monsoon peril: Rains drive out leopards towards human habitats

During monsoon, the wild cats roam around human habitats for prey. The wild bushes provide a hiding place to the leopards. In the past two weeks, leopards were sighted at least for six to seven times in pockets of Pauri, Kotdwar and Srinagar lurking close to the human colonies.

dehradun Updated: Aug 17, 2017 21:30 IST
Arvind Moudgil 
Arvind Moudgil 
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,monsoon,leopards
A leopard caught on camera walking near the Pauri-Advani road in night hours.(Picture courtesy: Dinesh Rawat)

PAURI GARHWAL: Known for man- animal conflict, Pauri Garhwal’s villages are on alert these days owing to the movement of leopards.

During monsoon, the wild cats roam around human habitats for prey. The wild bushes provide a hiding place to the leopards. In the past two weeks, leopards were sighted at least for six to seven times in pockets of Pauri, Kotdwar and Srinagar lurking close to the human colonies.

In the last five years, 27 people were killed by leopards in the Garhwal forest division.

Joy Hukil, a Pauri-based hunter, said the thick bushes in and around the villages were a common feature in most of the leopard attacks. During a seminar held recently, experts from Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) pointed out that the people had let bushes grow in the abandoned houses and fallow fields.

Satya Kumar, a scientist with the WII, said increasing migration from the villages has remarkably lessened the human activity and the fallow fields grown with wild bushes are often left unattended. “The leopard prefers the thick bushes to the deep forests because the bushes help the leopards wait for the prey undetected,” Kumar said, urging villagers to voluntarily come together once in a month to clear the thick bushes from their surroundings.

The paucity of natural prey for the leopards in the forests also is as an important reason for increasing human and wild encounters in the seminar. G Sonar, chief conservator of forest, Garhwal proposed that as mock drills with villagers had helped in decreasing forest fire incidents this year, such drills regarding man-animal encounters could be held to increase preparedness.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 21:30 IST