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Traps set up in four villages of Farrukhnagar after leopard’s presence confirmed by pug marks

Saidpur, Lokri and Jhund Sarai Viran villages, where the cages have been placed, are adjacent to the KMP expressway, while Bhukarka is seven kilometres from Pataudi, where a leopard was spotted on Wednesday.

gurgaon Updated: Jan 18, 2019 12:13 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Officials have kept a dog in each cage as a bait in a partitioned portion of the trap to lure the big cat.
Officials have kept a dog in each cage as a bait in a partitioned portion of the trap to lure the big cat. (HT Photo )
         

The wildlife department set up cage traps in four villages of Farrukhnagar and Pataudi on Thursday, after pug marks confirmed the presence of a leopard in the area, said officials.

The cages were placed close to human habitation, near the fields. According to the officials who visited the spot, the cage is placed in the area where the movement of the leopard was identified through pug marks, adjoining the Kundli-manesarpalwal (KMP) Expressway, on Wednesday.

Saidpur, Lokri and Jhund Sarai Viran villages, where the cages have been placed, are adjacent to the expressway, while Bhukarka is seven kilometres from Pataudi, where a leopard was spotted on Wednesday.

Vinod Kumar, the additional principal chief conservator of forests, said, “The trap was placed early Thursday morning. It will be placed for a week and then shifted to another location if the big cat is not trapped.”

The team reached Saidpur on Wednesday after villagers reported a leopard sighting near the expressway, around 19 kilometres from Gurugram. The villagers also shared pictures of fresh pug marks with the wildlife department.

Officials have kept a dog in each cage as a bait in a partitioned portion of the trap to lure the big cat. The dog will be safe in the cage even if the big cat gets trapped, said officials. The dogs trapped in the cage are strays and recognise the farmers in the fields, officials said.

“There are nearly 3,000 families in each village and their safety and security is our prime concern. Since the villagers are scared to move out even during the day and they cannot manage to sit at home leaving their fieldwork, we planned to place the cages,” said Kumar.

On the other hand, the villagers of Pathkori, Bhond, Mandawar and Ferozepur Jirka villages in Nuh met the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) on Thursday morning and demanded to supply power in the fields during the day.

Village residents said they get regular power supply only at night and there have been massive power cuts due to which they are unable to operate their tubewells in the field. “We have demanded that power is supplied to the villages during the day as there is a fear of leopard attack in the night and we need to water the mustard and wheat crops every day in this season, which is a crucial time before harvesting,” said Niaz Mohammad, a resident of Bhond, who had spotted a leopard on Wednesday at 9pm.

Villagers had earlier shared the images captured in two CCTV cameras of a leopard moving around Dhanawas and Patli villages of Farrukhnagar. The wildlife department officials have asked residents not to panic over the leopard and said it is possible that the big cat must have returned to its habitat. They had searched the fields and found pug marks leading towards the forest.

However, several teams of the police and wildlife officials are camping in these villages in an attempt to rescue the animal since last Friday.

An uptick in leopard sightings these past few months has spawned panic in the region.

While the state does not have any data on the number of leopards that inhabit the Aravallis, experts said the sightings could be attributed to the proximity of these villages to the prime leopard habitats along the Rajasthan-Haryana border.

First Published: Jan 18, 2019 12:13 IST

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